Black Lodge

Bitter Blood: A Collection Of Archival Recordings
Black Lodge
Bitter Blood: A Collection Of Archival Recordings
Released in parallel with an Arcola 12” of his “lost” Mo’Wax productions, this compilation from new imprint Disciples focusses on the more DIY/industrial-hued creations of cult producer Dan Dwayre aka Black Lodge. It's pretty hard to peg this bloke. A lesser-spotted member of Autechre and Rob Hall’s Gescom crew, Dwayre emerged at the fag-end of the 90s with a series of 12”s on Acupuncture and Mo’Wax, then pretty much vanished. He re-surfaced in 2010 with a brace of cassette drops on The Trilogy Tapes, and a double-pack of top-drawer disco re-edits, only to drop off the map again. Recorded in the upstairs room of a Manchester pub, we're guessing in the early 90s, a couple of the tracks here feel like the missing link between the acid b-boy culture of Ae et al and the seamier manoeuvres of the industrial/scum-underground, but for the most part we’re treated to the kind of wistful, hermetic, dub-distressed chamber-music/space-folk - lots of clarinet, cello, violin and stiff-upper-lip yearning - you might expect from a Woo or a Flaming Tunes or a Leven Signs (really Disciples say it best: “Eno’s Another Green World drowning in a sea of Boddingtons”). We don’t summon those names lightly, this is honestly incredible stuff: accomplished and grounded but also lawless and idiosyncratic and full of deep feeling. To be clear though, it's not all Music For Bus Depots and lunar jazz, ‘Wodwo’ (is that a Ted Hughes reference?!) is a slice of disorientingly pristine Hosono-ish synth-pop, and ’Soph Says’ feels like minimal techno if Storm Bugs had invented it, while ‘Withershins’ and ‘Castle To Castle’ are dopesick dispatches from the frozen borderline that are just ECSTATICALLY depressing. It’s early days, but it seems safe to say that this is going to be one of those records we cherish, and return to again and again.. it zones in on, and sustains, that rarefied bittersweet mood we look for in, well, pretty much everything. In fact it delivers it in such abundance that it feels almost too good to be true. Essential must-have! 





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