The Black Dog Tranklements

The Black Dog Tranklements
6
The Black Dog have always been one of the less celebrated members of that '90s IDM movement that included Aphex Twin, Autechre and Squarepusher. Led by original member Ken Downie, the Black Dog's 12th LP, Tranklements, works as both a nod to their pioneering beginnings and culmination of 21st century instrumental electronics. Tracks like the arctic, melodic "Cult Mentality" and robotic, rhythmic "Pray Crash II" employ a vintage 606 sound, while the chopped, choral "Hymn for SoYo" and the Balearic, pulsing "First Cut" are nestled in-between, giving Tranklements a rich exploratory feel. But it's the strength of the album's shorter atmospheric tracks that holds Tranklements together nicely, as Downie present these bridges with the same left-field schematics he does the album's longer pieces. On Tranklements, the Black Dog do a fine job of sounding relevant, all while holding onto their IDM purist fans. This is a forward-looking release by a group still searching for reverence. (Dust Science)