LONG PLAYER OF THE DAY: The Black Dog, ‘Music For Real Airports’

The Details: The Black Dog, Music For Real Airports (Soma, 2010)

The Reason(s) We Can’t Stop Listening: As you can probably tell from the title, this record was written as a rebuttal to Brian Eno’s most popular ambient album. And while its sci-fi sleeve art suggests a sterile listen, the entire thing is a dark but delightful exploration of just how debilitating airports can be. Simply put, the Black Dog make Eno’s masterwork sound rather safe, as if the producer/multi-instrumentalist had literally been hired to score The Terminal. (Yes, the Tom Hanks movie.) 

“Airports have some of the glossiest surfaces in modern culture, but the fear underneath remains,” the trio writes in their mission statement. “Hence this record is not a utilitarian accompaniment to airports, in the sense of reinforcing the false utopia and fake idealism of air travel. Unlike Eno’s Music for Airports, this is not a record to be used by airport authorities to lull their customers…it captures the spectrum of emotions stirred by airports. There is tension and disappointment. But there is also romance and excitement.”

All of these mixed emotions stem from the Black Dog’s rich tapestry of weightless synths and seamlessly-mixed soundscapes. (Two hundred hours of field recordings were distilled into one airtight disc of frostbitten dance beats and wormhole-ready drones.) If we used star ratings, this would easily land a perfect score. Since we don’t, we’ll simply say this is a must-buy, through and through. Sample a track below–as well as a teaser for the live A/V version with Human–to hear what we mean.