The Black Dog - Neither/Neither

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  • The Black Dog's twelfth album, Neither/Neither, could be taken as the flipside to Holly Herndon's Platform. Where that album likened the internet to a marriage of human and machine, Ken Downie and Richard and Martin Dust find it to be more of a mental cage, one patrolled by sinister capitalist forces. Neither/Neither is the next part of a conceptual series about surveillance that began with 2008's Radio Scarecrow and 2009's Further Vexations. Though the themes of paranoia remain the same, the album's structure is different. There's still both ambient and clubbier material here, but instead of being blended together over the course of an album, Neither/Neither has a downtempo half preceding the more dance floor-orientated tracks. "Non Linear Information Life" and "The Frequency Ov Thee Truthers" appear almost serene before a foreboding energy creeps in, and the sparse beats on the title track or "Shut Eye" could be Sheffield's abandoned steel foundries roaring back to life in the distance. It's inside those old industrial spaces that The Black Dog seek to take us onwards from "Self Organising Sealed Systems," its volts of kinetic energy a flashback to the warehouse raves that powered the Sheffield bleep techno scene from which the group emerged. They've drawn parallels between that city and Detroit before, and make them explicit as ever here on the deep, pulsating techno of "Commodification" and "Platform Lvl 6." The album ends with "MK Ultrabrite," in which crystalline sounds seem to spiral like a double helix—a fitting metaphor for Neither/Neither, which also consists of two distinct strands working together as a whole.
  • Tracklist
      01. Non Linear Information Life 02. Phil 3 To 5 To 3 03. Neither/Neither 04. Phil 0114 05. Control Needs Time 06. Them (Everyone Is A Liar But) 07. Shut Eye 08. The Frequency Ov Thee Truthers 09. B.O.O.K.S 10. Self Organising Sealed Systems 11. Commodification 12. Phil vs David 13. Platform Lvl 6 14. Hollow Stories, Hollow Head 15. MK Ultrabrite