Thursday, June 01, 2006
The Black Dog_Spanners
When I bought this album, I was 15, and I did not 'get it'. I sat out in our rental car, listening to this on the tape deck. Because we were in England, it was raining.
I didn't touch them much in the next few years, and molested myself through the age with the likes of Prodigy and Daft Punk and the Chemical Brothers. But I had no idea of the power and concepts sequestered away in the subterranean strata of this album. It is no understatement to say that this has been the biggest musical influence on my life. Considering it took me roughly 4 years to understand it (I was a 'natural' electro-head for about the same length of time) and a few big spliffs, it isn't readily relayable to others.
Some call it polyrhythmic, like a choose your own adventure of dance. Some call it IDM (intelligent dance music). It's beyond that, it's more like an exercise in enlightenment. How they successfully ran an axis of mesopotamian sound through the viscera, or found such stutter-step drums still confounds me. My enthusiasm grows every day for these pioneers. When people ask me what my favourite food is, I reply: The Black Dog_Spanners. When the album exhausts itself, I just start it again. This is one of the very few seminal electronic albums and I would wager it would change anyone who listened to it. The name's also a wonderful euphemism for depression.