The Black Dog (aka Black Dog Productions) originally consisted of Ken Downie, Ed Handley and Andy Turner, two of which later left to form Plaid. These guys have been popping up on my mp3 player at work for a few months now and their tracks seem to get better with subsequent listens. I have two of their albums:
1. Book of Dogma (2007) a compilation album collecting their early EPs from 1989-1992. The best tracks are great, but listening to this double album in one sitting is a bit of a marathon due to its chronological structure. These 4 tracks are my favourite – a mixture of breakbeats, techno and ambient electronica.
2. Bytes – another compilation of sorts, this 1993 debut LP for Warp Records saw the trio produce tracks under various pseudonyms, each of which consists of various formations of the three. It’s a more stylistically coherent album and many tracks are interconnected with ambient interludes which help the album flow. The same mix of breaks, techno and ambient electronica is present, but the whole sound is very much a refinement of their previous work. The rhythm tracks and layering are much more intricate, and as such, the album lends itself to repeated listening. Merck by Balil is one of my favourite pieces of electronic music, evoking a feeling of gliding through deep space. The rest of the album I’ve only really got into recently, but it has a timeless quality. Headphones recommended.