Review: Black Dog Productions, Bytes

Black Dog Productions, BytesBlack Dog Productions’s Bytes, the third installment in Warp Records’ “Artificial Intelligence” series, was a watershed in what has become known in the U.K. as IDM or “intelligent techno.” The album is a headphone-friendly collection of tracks by Andy Turner, Ed Handley and Ken Downie (a trio of producers who have taken on various incarnations over the years, including Plaid, Balil, and Xeper), most noteworthy for its elaborate beat structures and rhythms. The odd time signatures of tracks like “Yamemm” and “Focus Mel” are offset by splashes of rich harmonic tones and striking, alpine melodies. Influenced by early Detroit Techno artists like Derrick May, Black Dog, in turn, went on to stimulate later waves of electronic music in Detroit as well as European ambient and hardcore techno.

 Label: Warp  Release Date: November 2, 1992  Buy: Amazon

Sal Cinquemani

Sal Cinquemani is the co-founder and co-editor of Slant Magazine. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Billboard, The Village Voice, and others. He is also an award-winning screenwriter/director and festival programmer.

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