On 4th August Warp will reissue two seminal classics on vinyl from their catalogue: Bytes by Black Dog Productions and Spanners by The Black Dog.
The third album in the Artificial Intelligence series, Bytes was originally released in 1993, with this repress marking the 30th anniversary. Black Dog Productions were Ed Handley, Andy Turner and Ken Downie. For this record, Handley, Turner and Downie appear solo and collaboratively under various guises: Atypic, Balil, I.A.O, Close Up Over, Xeper, Discordian Popes and Plaid. Berlin techno institution Hard Wax describe the album on their website as “an eternal classic”.
Originally released in 1995, Spanners is the second album from The Black Dog and their first for Warp Records. In 2017 it was selected by Pitchfork as one of ‘The 50 Best IDM Albums of All Time’. The reissue will be the first time the vinyl is available since its original pressing in 1995.
Both albums have been re-cut by Beau Thomas for vinyl and are presented as exact reproductions of the original editions. A limited number of colour vinyl copies are available for pre-order via Warp, Bleep and artist platforms from today.
The Black Dog were formed in 1989 by Ken Downie, Ed Handley and Andy Turner. Unable to find a label to back their initial releases, they issued early EPs on their own Black Dog Productions imprint. During this period, Downie operated an early electronic bulletin board entitled Black Dog Towers.
They signed to Warp in 1993 and issued the album Bytes under the group name Black Dog Productions, which compiled various alter-egos and side-projects. The debut album as The Black Dog, Temple Of Transparent Balls came out on the GPR label, followed by Spanners on Warp in 1995.
In 1995, Handley and Turner departed to work on their spin-off project Plaid. They had originally met at school in the early 1980s, bonding over their shared love of hip-hop and forming a breakdancing crew in rural Suffolk. After leaving school they moved to London, where Andy DJed on pirate radio station Crush FM, and Ed began putting hip-hop tracks together with an early sampler. In 1988 Ed responded to Ken Downie’s ad in Music Week looking for collaborators to make acid house music, an endeavour to which Andy was subsequently invited to join. Concurrently with their work with Downie as The Black Dog, Ed and Andy made music as a duo and released it under the Plaid name. Since focusing on Plaid full-time they have undertaken production work for other artists (such as Nicolette), recorded a number of soundtracks (including cult anime film Tekkonkinkreet), toured extensively, and released eleven albums for Warp, the most recent of which, Feorm Falorx, came out in 2022.
Downie continued recording under the name The Black Dog (including a further album for Warp – Music For Adverts (And Short Films)) and completing a number of remixes in collaboration with Steve ‘Hotdog’ Ash and Ross Knight. Richard and Martin Dust teamed up with Ken Downie in 2001, and the line-up has remained this trio since that time, maintaining a prolific output of EPs and albums, mainly on the Dust Science label. The band’s early EPs were collected on the 2007 compilation Book of Dogma, and the latest album by The Black Dog, The Grey Album, was released in May 2023.
Black Dog Productions – Bytes
A1. Plaid – Object Orient
A2. Close Up Over – Caz
A3. Xeper – Carceres Ex Novum
B1. Atypic – Focus Mel
B2. Close Up Over – Olivine
B3. I.A.O – Clan (Mongol Hordes)
C1. Plaid – Yamemm
C2. Discordian Popes – Fight The Hits
C3. Balil – Merck
D1. Close Up Over – Jauqq
D2. Balil – 3/4 Heart
The Black Dog – Spanners
A3. Barbola Work
B1. Chase The Manhattan
B5. Further Harm
C3. Pot Noddle
C5. End Of Time
D1. Utopian Dream
D3. Frisbee Skip
Stay tuned at Electronic ConnectFM Tracks of the Month selection and Listen to Black Dog’s new music first