The Black Dog

Music for Real Airports

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The adjective in the title of the Black Dog's 2010 full-length separates it from Brian Eno's Ambient 1: Music for Airports, which was a highly idealized vision of airport travel. Eno's music often sounds reminiscent of some future utopia, separated from the sights and smells of thousands of anxious or disgruntled people in close contact. Ken Downie's pragmatic approach to soundtracking air travel here is evident not only from the track titles, which include "DISinformation Desk," "Strip Light Hate," and "Sleep Deprivation 2." Although his aural imagery is nearly as anodyne and antiseptic as Eno's, there's a lingering air of menace, or at least unease, that contrasts with the beatific beatlessness of Eno's ambient music. The sounds are appropriately textured, and often recall the sound of unidentified persons far down dark hallways, but with brittle beats and echoing effects -- most sampled from airport sources during Downie's frequent travels.

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