duminică, 23 ianuarie 2011


After over five years of apparent semi-retirement, Ken Downie (now solo) re-emerged in 2002 with the Unsavoury Products album, credited to The Black Dog with Black Sifichi. It was apparently not the follow up to 1996’s Black Dog’s Music for Adverts (And Short Films), but a break-away project allowing two artists to come together on common grounds. If the music is an extension of Downie’s previous work, the presence of poet Black Sifichi on each of the twenty tracks gives an altogether different dimension to the work.

Hailed by some reviewers (and by me) as “commercial suicide”, Unsavoury Products is someone getting things off his chest musically. But whether it is worthy of release is another matter – on balance, probably not. Based on the work of Beat guru William S. Burroughs and following his cut-up technique, the album was assembled by Ken Downie and Scottish poet Black Sifichi over a few months; both artists throwing ideas at each other, giving a very organic structure to the album. But I’ve never had time for poetry and the album feels self-indulgent.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh. A reviewer said:

"Although each track is independent, it is in its entirety that Unsavoury Products reveals its bizarre beauty. Feeding on the perversions of society, from the expectancy of the public (What Do They Want? where Black Sifichi reflects on the complexity of being creative) to the anonymity of push-button services (Mental Health Hotline), this album is an unsettling piece of modern poetry. Safichi’s voice and sometimes-altered diction, superposed onto the multi-faceted Black Dog compositions, creates a rather intriguing atmospheric and absurd tale of urban misery. Faithful to the spirit of Burroughs’s work, Unsavoury Products often displays a twisted and disturbing sense of humour, from the dog-man paranoia of Dogbite and Secret Biscuit to the irrationality of the Wishing Well or Pigeon Chest."

If you are after challenging electronic music, this is it:

The Black Dog with Black Sifichi - Dogbite

The Black Dog with Black Sifichi -Invisible Things

The Black Dog with Black Sifichi - Someone At The Office

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