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The Black Dog Music For Photographers

On Music for Photographers, The Black Dog create a realm where abiotic factors emanate sounds for thoughtful moods.

Released: 12 November 2021
Music For Photographers

Two choices when communing with an ambient album: single notes reverberated to long-form drones, or an unspoken chant that conjures a memory to a place you've not quite been to.

The Black Dog claim that Music for Photographers should be listened to while visiting any location. So a trip to a former upscale mall. A Parthenon mock-up in its heyday, it’s now in a deep state of decay. I slip through the cyclone fence, adjusting my facemask to guard off the stench.

Every step I take, avoiding puddles of mossy green water, echoes into the partly illuminated halls. ‘Womersley, Line One’ drones like a siren, warding me off the unknown dangers in this place. Was that my own shadow? Was it a rat super-fuelled by tacos and a few sips of Corona?

It's the darkwave elements what truly make Music for Photographers work. 'Lightroom Lies, Darkroom Doom', with its Lustmord-like richness, guides me through the broken Greek columns. A rotten mess of old Garfield dolls, their suction cups still pristine, follows my every step with their non-degradable plastic eyes.

The contrast between this mould-ridden shopping centre and the surrounding middle-class houses is a strange one. I switch back and forth between the devastating sigh that is ‘We Are All Memories’ and the pulsing trance of ‘Bokeh Bokeh Bokeh’ to make sense of it all. And in its contrast I understand the obsession we have as a species to never let go of some places, no matter how rotten they become.

As I leave the area, I see an old plaster statue of Jesus Christ, a few fingers missing on each hand, ivy and grass growing wildly around it. The odd prayer and offering scribbled in sharpie, asking for health, a good grade in maths, and another year of life for a loved one, now sun kissed into oblivion by the cruel passage of time. I contribute to its vandalisation and wonder, just for a moment, if another person will explore this place when I’m gone, and wonder why I visited the grave of my first kiss.

by Sam J