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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.
55 comments| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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.
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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.
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on 16 May 2010
I was really hoping this to be a great ambient-techno album. Though not bad, it's nothing great, esp from The Black Dog. It's a bit familiar to many ambient already out there. The album is one continues track split into sections. The ambient has the odd basic beat/synth (4/4 simplicity beats)that appear on a couple of tracks at the beginning, with a couple of tracks at the end using a almost dub echo effect; otherwise it's mainly familiar ambient that's been heard many times before. Personally I think there is much better out there, not getting the credit it deserves from labels like Fax/Em:t/Rather Interesting/BineMusic.

If looking for interesting ambient-beat/beatless/techno or downtempo/experimental music, that are much more interesting and finer in ambient, I suggest you look into labels like FAX: Jet Chamber ,Dreamfish ,The Fires of Ork Vol.2 ,Let the Circle Not Be Broken or Rather Interesting: Muster and more...Just make sure all are distinguishable original Fax/Rather Interesting albums by similar coding/symbols on covers and distinguishable inserts that all have the same style - indiacating it is a Fax/Rather Interesting release.

Also look out for Binemusic label:10/11 Live at Johanneskirche ,Tokyo ,Rockets Unto the Edges of Edges ..etc
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on 22 April 2015
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