THE BLACK DOG - BYTES

THE BLACK DOG - BYTES

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Released: 08/08/23

Originally released in 1993, the 30th-anniversary edition of Black Dog Productions’ (BDP) classic Bytes (the latest reissue as part of Warp’s brilliant Artificial Intelligence series) is remarkable not only for its timelessness – along with Selected Ambient Works 85-92 it might be the closest thing we have to a British electronica urtext – but also a reminder of how prolific was the collective of Ed Handley, Andy Turner and Ken Downie, evidenced by the various guises under which the three mean appear on the LP: Atypic, Balil, I.A.O, Close Up Over, Xeper, Discordian Popes, and Plaid. 

The word ‘visionary’ gets bandied around a lot in music, but in the case of BDP it's more than merited – and what's more, the first track on the record, ‘Object Orient’, caught my eye as it appears to reference a branch of metaphysics known as ‘object-oriented ontology’ (which, in short, rejects the privileging of humans over nonhuman objects) six years before the speculative philosopher Graham Harman coined the term. So there you have it, Black Dog Productions: Electronic philosopher-prophets.