The Black Dog – Further Vexations – Album Of The Month – Update Magazine
After the cerebral trampoline of last year’s Radio Scarecrow, The Black Dog humped a punishing gigging schedule which has galvanised them into a more floor-friendly follow-up, but with an underlying message attacking increasingly-Orwellian Government tactics and public complacency at how our lives are monitored and controlled. This punk-style discontent manifests in the pressure cooker grooves underpinning piledriving tech-kneesups like ‘0093’ and ‘We Are Haunted’, the mix of boiling anger in the complex rhythms and spatial beauty of the strings often recalling Underground Resistance.
Seething emotions soar in tracks like ‘Stempel’ and ‘CCTV Nation’, the pounding grooves and intertwining textures swelling into glorious meteor-storms of rafter-swinging proportions which sometimes manage to enter the realms of avant classical. ‘You’re Only SQL’ carves a monolithic acid-funk path slashed with eerie strings and ‘Tunnels Ov Set’ hammers a slo-mo industrial dub-crash soundscape which closes the album on a suitably-ominous note. The timeless Dog have produced a work of astounding vision, terrible beauty and merciless dancefloor carnage, cocking a leg to techno glory once more but squirting out possibly their most complete work yet. Not mincing words, Further Vexations ranks among the great UK electronic albums.