There's real time and then there's airport time. Try and guess the time without looking at a clock and the chances are you'll get it right, give or take 30 minutes. Then try the same thing in an airport. 4.30 am on a Tuesday morning: Cockney Paul's stag do (as it says on their t-shirts) are p****d and on at least their 4th pint. Kids are eating Haribo, meanwhile I go on a perfume buying spree - as you do in the middle of the night. What time IS it?
"Music for Real Airports" is The Black Dog's attempt to capture the weird vibe of the 21st century airport. Eno used the title "Music for Airports" maybe because it sounded quite smart and back then not all of us used them or, maybe there was an aspirational thing about high-speed, long-distance travel in the 1970s? Not any more.
The Black Dog's rendering is all too accurate: Orb-style ambience only gloomier and more dramatic. The vibe is tense, unsettling, Kubrickian. I'm not sure I'd go as far as to call it depressing, but in a "Selected Ambient Works 2" kind of a way if it caught you in the wrong mood it might well freak you out (check "Sleep Deprivation 1"). Then there's the Richard H Kirk-style sampling (must be a Sheffield thing ): "Welcome to East Midlands Airport". But there's beauty here too - "Delay 9" could have come from a Michael Mann film soundtrack.
The LP plays as one continuous piece of music - is this because once you're in the departure lounge there's no respite, no way out? And when you DO eventually get out, you're not at you destination yet, you're in "Business Car Park 9" - though the album closer is cleverly tempered with just a small dose of optimism and relief.
The music of over-priced bottles of water, packets of crisps that are too big, £10 fried breakfasts and eateries where the staff never clean the tables. A unique piece of work.
Enjoy your summer holidays.
on 25 November 2010
I've seen reviews of IDM in the past and there's one thing that stands out: A lot of people seem to judge IDM by the complexity of the beats and the effects. IDM isn't meant to be an arena for audio-geeks to showcase their technical superiority. Like all music, it's a means of communicating a message. I find the album utterly enthralling, be it slower and less beat heavy than black dog's previous work. The album is a soundtrack to a journey, but consequently the album has become a journey of its own. A beautiful one at that, full of nuance and subtlety with a great dystopian undertone.
I loved Brian Eno's Music for Airports and this is a brilliant new envisioning of the concept.
on 22 September 2010
I didn't have any recordings by these guys but after a quick listen to some samples on this site I thought it was worth a shot. Also I'm a long term Eno fan and liked the quirky title. I wasn't dissapointed. Dark, atmospheric, relaxing and engaging in equal measure. I am a fan of electronica amd ambient and this is a great addition to my collection. On the strength of this album I have ordered 'Radio Scarecrow' also by Black Dog.