My love for The Black Dog goes back to the Bytes/Spanners line-up, but any act that can still persuade the producers that feature on this EP to remix their work deserves serious attention. While it's true that the dogs never again scaled the same heights as the aforementioned mid-'90s albums (then again, none of their peers did either), they have nonetheless remained a major force in electronic music thanks to Radio Scarecrow and Further Vexations. If anything, the chosen remixers must have approached the project with a sense of trepidation, given the act's reputation.
Thankfully, they all manage to make the chosen track their own. Silicone Soul's take on "Skin Clock" is a pleasant deep groove powered by sinewy bass pulses, but if you're searching for a rawer take on the eternal house sound, then check Redshape's version of "CCTV Nation." The masked one's dense beats, snapping drums and signature brooding bass are all present and correct, but so too is a building, climaxing synth line that recalls Lil' Louis at his most pre-orgasmically wanton.
Mark Stewart, who is increasingly focusing on classic Chicago nuances as Claro Intelecto, continues on this path with his take on "Northern Electronic Soul." Layered, dubby chords briefly suggest a lingering fascination with his Warehouse Session releases, but then a spiralling acid line comes in straight from the Windy City. Finally, Octogen delivers a remix of "Kissing Someone Else's Dog." Starting off with a brooding synth sequence, its spiky breaks and discordant jarring riffs shoot through the arrangement like hot needles puncturing skin and complete a stylistic volte face, divorcing the rework from any similarities to the original material. As remix packages go, this is really is the dog's bollocks.
Buy The Black Dog - Vexing Remixes at
Tracklist: The Black Dog - Vexing Remixes A1 Northern Electronic Soul (Claro Intelecto Snake Pass Mix)
A2 CCTV Nation (Redshape Analog Mix)
AA1 Skinclock (Silicon Soul Mix)
AA2 Kissing Someone Elses D.O.G (Octogen Nightdrive Mix)