The Black DogMusic For Real Airports


Terminal EMA
DISinformation Desk
Passport Control
Wait Behind This Line
Empty Seat Calculations
Strip Light Hate
Future Delay Thinking
Delay 9
Sleep Deprivation 1
Sleep Deprivation 2
He Knows
Business Car Park 9

Credits (1)


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    Cover of Music For Real Airports, 2010-05-10, VinylMusic For Real Airports
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    Soma Quality Recordings – Soma TBD003UK2010UK2010
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    Cover of Music For Real Airports, 2023-01-20, VinylMusic For Real Airports
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    • pocket.calculator's avatar
      Pleased to have this on vinyl; does anyone else’s disc three have a warp/ bump on it at the start? Annoying.
      • nameeman's avatar
        Edited 2 years ago
        Great album! Very little beats, big on ambient drone (chill music).
        Great little snippets of typical airport noises.
        I love this group so much!!!
        Waiting for the deluxe version to come out (They said on CD sometime in the near future)
        I own the 3 vinyl version which I ordered from Soma Records which is amazing!
        Dark ambient music at it's greatest!
        Highly recommended!
        • hafler3o's avatar
          Obviously The Black Dog does not like flying. It much prefers to keep its paws on the ground and sniff out the drugs. However this is a rather dull airport and the good stuff is being zipped in and out elsewhere, leaving the Dog somewhat lacking in 'inspiration' and more than a bit 'glum'. A sort of poor relation to HIA's Birmingham Frequencies. Personally, I'm taking the ferry, they serve a nice Cottage Pie on deck D.
          • scoundrel's avatar
            The Black Dog pay homage to Brian Eno with MUSIC FOR REAL AIRPORTS, a mix of field recordings, like the ambient sounds that start off "M1" and sustained tones that drone into "Terminal EMA." Meanwhile, a harsh rhythm finds its way to the "DISinformation Desk" but it mellows into "Passport Control" and remains as just a throb on the melancholy "Wait Behind This Line." A darkness hovers over "Empty Seat Calculations" and it thuds into life with "Strip Light Hate," a clattering that extends into the high-pitched whines and eventual techno of "Future Delay Thinking." All throughout, airport sounds emerge and fade from consciousness, the way airports themselves are points of departure rather than destinations in and of themselves. The piano of "Delay 9" hints at this sense of non-place, as it is itself supplanted by strings. The deep pulse of "Sleep Deprivation 1" is influenced by dub, and "Sleep Deprivation 2" present a growling lullaby. And, finally, the omnious thuds of "He Knows" drifts into the moody melodics of "Business Car Park 9." Sure, this may be the most depressing airport you've ever visited, but aren't they all, to some extent?
            • anton.hystrix's avatar
              Extremely professional ambient conceptual album with dark and depressive parts. Didn't get it after the first listening (maybe listened in wrong conditions, at work or somewhere in the city) but now this is maybe better than Radio Scarecrow in some way.
              • David68Turner's avatar
                Yeeees...yes! I'm a philosopher. I think very deeply. Fan-dabby-dozy. Fan-fucking-tastic. Oh yeah!
                • TIM's avatar
                  Edited 13 years ago
                  Lots of expectations here. If only from the title. A daunting expectation because of the title. Black Dog capable of coming through and no disappointment found here. What I appreciate is the pacing. Singular thoughts well drawn out as the release unfolds. My seventh time listening through everything sounds already like a familiar journey taken long ago. Brilliant digital depth audio wise. A futuristic, mechanical, 2001 space odyssey meets field (airport) recording feel. The powerful moments really balance the waiting periods of intermissions. There is purpose to the pacing that I appreciate. Black Dog have an excellent aggressiveness in their production and sounds choice. Songs 6 and 7 hit u like a lead pipe. And as easily as it slowly built to those tracks it drones off into a slightly sci fi interference. Lots of growling digital transmissions and field recordings set to those singular thoughts with a jet pilots confidence. What should be particularly noted is the attack on the audio spectrum. This cd could easily be a test cd for speakers(tracks 8 and 13 especially) just to see the capabilities of what you can hear to gauge a persons emotional reaction. Many sounds screetch and make the hair stand up on your neck. Bass that passes through you before you hear it. Backgrounds you dont notice till you are transported there. An audio test for sure. And a very enjoyable one at that. A nice balance of all the things we emotionally think about when it comes to traveling and of jjet airports. Waiting. Anticipation. Excitement. Triumph. Futuristic. And lots of nervous anxiety. There is no propellers here. In fact amp this up from standard jet airliners. This must be played with concordes only. An audio landmark.
                  • Headphone_Commute's avatar
                    Paying homage to Brian Eno's ambient masterpiece, Music for Airports (Polydor, 1978), which Eno created for the whole purpose of being played in actual airports, to convey calmness and reassurance to the passengers about to set off on an airborne journey, The Black Dog set out to create their own version, designed for real airports. But, unlike Eno's version, this album is "not a utilitarian accompaniment to airports, in the sense of reinforcing the false utopia and fake idealism of air travel". The album is a pristine selection of beautiful tracks, with an overlay of field recordings collected through the three years of the group's tour travels. And instead of conceptual and abstract, The Black Dog delivers a cinematic and very personal album, that will captivate you in any surrounding. To further elaborate on the contrast between the two works, here's a Brian Eno quote from a TV interview: "One day I was sitting in this beautiful airport, Cologne airport. It was a Sunday morning and the sun was streaming in. It was the most beautiful piece of architecture... And the most idiotically stupid pop music playing... You put all this attention into the architecture and the ambience in every respect except the music. What is the music? It's what some person's brought in that morning and stuck in a cassette player... So I started constructing in my mind what would be the right music for the airport." In general terms, Eno's view was that the music should communicate a feeling rather than a narrative, and that it should be soothing. It should help people feel comfortable and resign themselves to the inconvenience and ultimately disconcerting nature of air travel. The Black Dog take a different approach. Based on over 200 hours of field recordings at airports, Music for Real Airports is not a record "to be used by airport authorities to lull their customers." Rather, it embraces the underlying fear and anxiety and revels in it. "Wait Behind This Line", for example, is a gloomy death march, a bottomless pit of despair and hopelessness. In other places, the album swings the other way and captures the excitement and sense of adventure that airports can also evoke. On the whole, it's an engaging album. I'll save my breath in covering the history of the group. I trust you can point your clickers to their Wikipedia entry for all the details. But in case you didn't know, the group was originally founded by Ken Downie, Ed Handley and Andy Turner, and were one of the founding figures of IDM as a genre. Handley and Turner set off to create and focus on Plaid back in 1995, while Downie was joined by Martin and Richard Dust to continue the legacy, that, in my opinion, is only blossoming... If you missed the group's earlier releases, pick up Radio Scarecrow (Soma, 2008) and Further Vexations (Soma, 2009). In contrast to Music for Real Airports the above mentioned are more beat oriented albums, falling into the techno genre, as defined by The Black Dog's original style. Be sure to also check out the mixes that The Black Dog regularly make available on their website. The latest - Drifting Ambient Mix May 2010 - is a doozie. Recommended if you loved the ambiance of Lusine ICL's Language Barrier (Hymen, 2007), Arovane's Lilies (City Centre Offices, 2004), and Autechre's Amber (Warp, 1994). As I'm writing this review, I'm on my fifth listen of the album, becoming more and more convinced that it will go down in history as one of my absolute favorites.
                    • ilmar2350's avatar
                      Edited 10 years ago
                      I was pretty excited. Especially because Silenced (2005), Radio Scarecrow (2008) and Further vexations (2009) all had some beautiful moments. And now they even made an update from Brian Eno's Music for Airports!
                      Did they?! Whether you like it or not, Music for Airports has been one of the most important ambient albums up to date. So I had my expectations, but even more important the way of listening to this album was at forehand already influenced.

                      Track 1: The music starts with some environmental field recordings. Ok.. we're outside.. somewhere.. A car engine starts and not long after that the air is filled with a “meditative urban” synth line (reminds me of Namlook's Music for Urban Meditation) and we can notice a police car is passing by. A deep drone is added and the city environment slowly gets back. The synths slowly fade away while suddenly a voice makes sure that we have arrived at the airport: “Welcome to East Midlands airport”

                      Track 2: The voice gives us some security instructions and the synth is coming back. Some additional synths and tones let us float away into a dreamland.

                      Track 3: Okey, back into reality. The dreamy sphere fades away.. Some synth tones remain and percussion is added. Upcoming synth tones and filtered bass bring back the Black Dog style we have started to know since their last three albums.

                      Track 4: The dreamy sphere continues with high synths a la Brian Eno's Music for Airports. This time with a sort of heartbeat created by an interaction of a synth and bass-drum. A peep-sound together with someone who is breathing brings this track to its climax. The passport control is a heavy experience.

                      Track 5: Stars with a dark synth and a deep meditative bass. A synth melody starts to play. The background sphere is created with some washes and after a minute or two the environmental “airport” sounds are back for a moment. Little bit on the dramatic side here. Reminds somehow of Jóhann Jóhannsson´s Fordlandia.

                      Track 6: We are left behind with an emotional and meditative synth line. Electronic percussion tones interrupt the peace. To bring back the dramatic sphere, a cinematic sounding synth line is added and suddenly a typical Black Dog deep bass-line drops in.

                      Track 7: Ok, they have warmed up on the track before and now we are heading into a more rhythmic direction. Bit more cold abstract feeling, but does not convince again, as it lacks sphere in the background.

                      Track 8: Another approach. Rhyhm, meditative synth and some dubby bass. In the background another rhythm that reminds of “we are hunted” from Further Vexations. Okay this is nice, especially the variations with the bass. Still I have to admit that it feels like it doesn't belong here. The rhythm is gone and suddenly some field recordings from the airport are thrown in and evolves into track 9.

                      Track 9: Extends the field recording for a minute. The way it is brought in after the rhythm lacks a bit inspiration. What a disappointment. It's like.. fade in.. bam.. we're on the airport again.

                      Track 10: Stars with the airport environment as well and a filtered melancholic synth loop. And then.. piano tones come in. Good track, maybe not that original, but nice how the music interacts with the airport environment for the first time.

                      Track 11: Keeps us at the airport with deep bass and slow evolving synth tones in reverb. Warm organic sound.

                      Track 12: We begin with the beep tone which is left over from the last track and filtered electronic voice tells us something. The airport environment is back and this time with very deep and dark synth. Finally they capture the environmental sphere in their music as well. Very nice interaction and we are dreaming away again.

                      Track 13: Deep bass drums and electronic tones make their appearance which give a very mystic feeling. Not necessarily an airport feeling. It has a nice environmental sound captured in the sphere. Totally different than the rest, but very cool and even a little haunting.

                      Track 14: Continues track 13 and switches back to parts of track 6. Same melody and rhythm, but with more depth. This is nice downtempo techno and reminds of the feelings I got from listening to Bytes or Temple of Transparant Balls. Also: Silenced (drexian city r.i.d.e.), Radio Scarecrow (train by the autobahn) and Further vexations (Later Vexations).

                      Ergo Conclusio:
                      First of all, this is a pretty good release. However I'm afraid that without keeping the whole idea of "an update of Eno's work" in your mind, the album could have had a lot more identity. Of course now man can write nice stories about how well this release fits in today's society and what kind of interesting relations there are between this and Eno's album for instance, but when analysing the music itself, then I must conclude that they didn't make a “music for real airports”, since this is not music added to the airport environment (whatever this is), but the other way around. By using field recordings of airports here and there, they try to give their tracks an environmental sphere. This is not necessarily an airport, but could have been a train station as well (apart from the voice sample of the air hostess).
                      By that, they don't keep and work with the environmental sphere throughout their whole album. There are some nice moments where they partially succeed this mission (track 4, 10, 12), but it's not enough.
                      Next to that it's not an update of Eno's work. They do not redefine certain musical set of rules. So forget about the title, since it probably was labelled to this work from an commercial perspective.
                      The new thing from the perspective of the Black Dog is that this album is a bit more ambient than the rest of their works. No big message or a feeling they want to transport (and if it was intended they fail imo), just enjoy :)

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                      • Avg Rating:4.52 / 5
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