Probably best known for their epoch-defining 1993 album 'Bytes', The Black Dog routinely get mentioned alongside Aphex Twin et al as figure-heads in the UK's electronic timeline - with 'The Book Of Dogma' a missing link for many who weren't lucky enough to be there from the start. Weaving their complex drum programming into a pattern that is both melancholic and deliciously old-school, 'Virtual' kicks things into touch through a composition that errs on the side of headphone listening, but would equally be at home on the more daring of dance floors. Sticking on the first disc, another evident highlight is the astonishing 'See & Sages' - a track made all the more rare due to original copies being melted down to free up shelf space, its presence here displays an adept understanding of the relationship between beats and melodies that would put most current techno producers to red-faced shame. Wearing their Artificial Intelligence badge with pride, other cuts from disc one include the jaw-dropping 'Ambience With Teeth', 'Tactile' and 'Chiba' - any of which could legitimately be labeled a classic without Trade Description authorities becoming involved. Clicking over to disc two, the time-window changes to the 1991/2 apex - with the retooled 'Glassolalia' a definite focal point, reveling in crisp drum-patterns and deep synths that drag you in whole and keep you gleefully hostage throughout. With the likes of 'VIR2L', 'Hub' and 'Erb' also included for maximum devastation, 'The Book of Dogma' is so essential you'll have already bought it by now! (Review via Bookmat)
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