The Black Dog will release a new album entitled Music For Real Airports on Soma Records in May.
The record, which is part of a multimedia art project produced in collaboration with interactive artists Human, is billed as a contemporary response to to “the reality of occupying the semi-public space of an airport”, and to Brian Eno’s landmark ambient LP Music For Airports.
A press release explains the group’s aims more clearly:
“The artistic intent of Music for Real Airports is to examine the nature of airports and to explore what they could be. The Black Dog argue that, considering their importance in our lives, airports have not been sufficiently represented by artists. Perhaps the best known artistic response to airports is Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, whose purpose seems to be largely elegiac, even if conceived as an antidote to the stress of plane delays. tBd performances, events and installations are a more accurate update to Eno’s work, and to a degree, a riposte. Some members of The Black Dog were disappointed by Eno’s treatment of the subject in 1979 and have been considering how to produce a more meaningful response ever since.”
The ‘Dog accuse Eno’s Music For Airports of being “used by airport authorities to lull their customers”, which seems an odd statement. When was the last time you heard Eno in an airport? Furthermore, if we remember correctly there was a case in the 1980s of an airport using Eno’s music in its departure lounge, but then quickly withdrawing it after they received a number of complaints from passengers – the uncommonly melancholic and meditative music had actually caused them considerable disquiet.
Anyway, The Black Dog claim that Music Foe Real Airports is “ambient, but focussed”, and deirved from 200 hours of field recordings, much of which was processed and combined with new music while the group members were actually waiting in airports.
“This record is not necessarily a comfortable listen. But it captures the spectrum of emotions stirred by airports. There is tension and disappointment. But there is also romance and excitement.”
Well, we’ve have to wait and see. The Black Dog is currently comprised of members Ken Downie (who has been there since the group’s inception) and Martin and Richard Dust. The group debuted in 1989 and made some of the most arresting electronic music ever to emerge from the UK, from the rough-hewn breakbeat techno of ‘Virtual’ and the seminal compilation Bytes, part of Warp’s Artificial Intelligence series. Last year they released the album Further Vexations.