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LP Feature/ The Black Dog: "Detroit vs. Sheffield"

img  Tobias

Idolatry is hardly ever a good starting point for inspired music: Mostly, it either ends up an unrecognisable mess or a bland rehash of what’s been done before. Which is why The Black Dog have taken the right decision in chanelling their admiration for the artistry of minimal figurehead Robert Hood by doing what they do best - and then asking him to musically comment on their endeavours afterwards.

Even though it is by no means a collaboration in the archetypical sense of the word, therefore, “Detroit vs. Scheffield” can be considered a dialogue that extends well beyond the Atlantic and far beyond any notions of „scenes“. Both acts are self-confident enough to accept that their core audience appreciates them for their wilfulness, their idiosyncracies and their uniqueness rather than for their compatibility or for seamlessly blending in with the fold.

It is therefore only consequential if Hood’s “DJ Remix” of one of “Radio Scarecrow”’s most immediate pleasers „Train  by the Autobahn“ is neither a slightly varied copy of the original nor a track of his own disguised by some Black Dog samples. Roaming inside a space filled with tweetering, cawing and rasping sounds, a four to the floor heartbeat pulls along entrancing dub stabs and cosmically delayed echoes, gently pushed by organic filter modulations and driven by a rhythm of shifting percussive patterns – it’s all in the hihats here.

The “8 Mile” edit, meanwhile, counterpoints this rhythmic continuum with an epically atmospheric introduction, slowly building up the track along its melodic lines and waiting for a full five minutes until releasing the tension in a short, surreal yet stirring sequence before lapsing back into Ambient drift. The Black Dog’s own take on “Train by the Autobahn Part 3” fits this approach congenially, combining warm strings, mutant electro grooves and a sensual acid addendum into a robo-erotic track of halucinogenic splendor.

Mutual respect does not prevent anyone involved here from making the music their own – quite on the contrary, it resolutely requires them to do so. This match of Detroit vs. Scheffield is dominated by undaunting, indellible personalities and inspiring sonic exchanges. There are no loosers here – and the audience has gained most.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Soma Records
Homepage: The Black Dog

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