Review of Dialog's album Run Silent, Run Deep
Rules of electronica # 14
It's heresy NOT to worship at the altar of Computerworld, at least once a month.
Rules of electronica # 15
Facial hair is mandatory.
Rules of electronica #16
Every record ever made MUST sound like one of :
1. Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 2
2. Richard D.James
3. Music Has The Right To Children
Welcome to the world of the virtual knob twiddlers, a secret society which uses the power of knackered laptops and half inched software to produce a music so underground it might as well have a blue circular sign with a red stripe through it. It's a club with a ton of unwritten rules, although Andy Smith (AKA Dialog) seems prepared to ignore at least one of them, confessing to 'Rocking out' to AC/DC after a few beers, whilst simultaneously controlling any desire to having Angus Young garroted with his e string.
Not satisfied with admitting that rock music exists, Smith's second album under the Dialog pseudonym dares to mess around with some of genre's precepts. Whilst there are clearly plenty of familiar influences at work - the title track hinting at System 7, whilst Ghosts does a fine job of early period Orbital - Run Silent, Run Deep also acknowledges the movement's more Caribbean origins.
In truth, much of what informs what Smith and his countless peers create owes just as much to the studio trickery of reggae visionary King Tubby as Brian Eno. And this legacy - most obviously acknowledged in the bong-wobbling dub atmospheres of Jah Wobble and The Orb - is particularly felt on the sedentary Taking The Easy Way Out. Smith's relaxed frame of mind continues on Once Upon A Time In West London, a nearly endless trail of eastern references and cross-legged, proggy guitar that reminds the author of a fungi-influenced night or two on The Chevin, way back when the Berlin Wall was falling down.
Being harsh, there's absolutely nothing here electronica devotees won't have heard before, and The Lament Configuration is a sprawling mess. But less churlish people than me may well find something more accessible here than anywhere on say, the last Autechre album. So let's have a new rule then: For those about to Cubase - we salute you.
Official Site -
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.