Boomkat Product Review:
An eBay torpedo of the most pleasing order, 'Virtual' from the legendary Black Dog was originally released back in 1989 and has since gone on to become the thing of Beowulf-style legend. Changing hands for sums equivalent to many nation's GDP, this first release from The Black Dog represents a cornerstone of the British electronic scene and is now getting a better-late-than-never re-release ahead of the 'Book Of Dogma' 2CD. With their kennel now firmly relocated in the Soma yard, it's astonishing to hear just how ahead of its time 'Virtual' was - with the EP shouldering the intervening eighteen years with grace, dignity and innovative status still intact. Drawing in ribbons of influence from dub, reggae and the ambient firmament, The Black Dog managed to knot the disparate elements into a formidable entity that gave direction to electronic music for years to come. As the lead track's vocal sample so presciently says "I'm sitting in my room imagining the future" - and with 'Virtual' The Black Dog proved their HG Wells credentials as they essentially predicted the electronic machinations of the coming years. Innovative yet enjoyable, this is a history lesson you'll be impelled to attend - as the precision cut beats are given colour and scope by a bloom of diffused atmospherics and looping bass. Proving this was no fluke, on the back both 'The Weight' and 'Ambience With Teeth' further ensure the Black Dog legacy remains vividly intact. Essential.