Music For Real Airports by The Black Dog

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Music For Real Airports by The Black Dog

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Soma Records
somacd083-dl
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Regular price £7.00

Music for Real Airports started life as a multimedia art project by musicians The Black Dog and interactive artists Human. This dark ambient soundtrack is a response to the reality of occupying the semi-public space of an airport, and a contemporary counterpoint to Brian Eno’s famous work from the ‘70s.

Airports are important and revealing. They are dystopian microcosms of a possible future society. The necessity of safety requires that they be systems of human control which only elevate the stress of their transient occupiers. Airports promise travel, exploration and excitement but endlessly break that promise with their stale, tedious pressure. They are intense and overwhelming environments. Anyone who travels by air will have been puzzled by the way that airports tend to reduce us to worthless pink blobs of flesh, the human equivalent of the bags on the conveyor belt. Yet despite the frustration of being in that atmosphere, some of the best of human nature is revealed, alongside some of the very worst. Airports make for great “people watching”.

Airports have some of the glossiest surfaces in modern culture, but the fear underneath remains. 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. The album is a bittersweet, enveloping and enormously engaging listen. It is ambient, but focused. This is not sonic mush, nor adolescent noise. Nor is it a dance album. Much of the raw material of the album was made in airports over the last three years. While on tour, the Black Dog made 200 hours of field recordings, much of which was processed and combined with new music in the airport itself, waiting for the next flight. This vast amount of content has been slowly distilled into a set of particularly evocative pieces of music.

Composed in large degree of drones there is little in the way of beats until half way through - but rhythm is plentiful within the buzzing synthetic warmth. This record is not necessarily a comfortable listen. But it captures the spectrum of emotions stirred by airports. There is tension and disappointment. But there is also romance and excitement.