They say the world is going to the dogs and yet, somewhere out there, you will still find music inspired by poetry. Now, I don’t do poetry - as anything that rhymes is just a bit too toilet trained cockney for me - but Dogs Versus Shadows does and “Oracle Mama Dot” is the result.
For your love and money, you get fourteen examples of brooding synthesiser powered sonic sculptures with gloriously eccentric titles that seem less enamoured with pentameter than they are with the regeneration of minimalist, VHS era, soundtrack cues. Don’t get me wrong though. “Oracle Mama Dot” will undoubtedly stimulate the curiosity of the adventurous and, while rigidly enforced song structures are much in evidence, the influence of the robot God isn’t as overwhelming as you might have feared. No doubt there was some artistic purpose behind starting and stopping all these tracks with an abruptness that jars yet, despite this, there is also an obvious coherence to this album, based on atmospheric resampling and tempo shifting of primitive rhythms, that holds it all together with a very reasonable degree of conviction.
I was born with the Muscle Shoals horn section preinstalled into my heart so I should despise an album like “Oracle Mama Dot” but I can’t actually do that. It is, without doubt, a headphone album rather than something you would play to whatever friends you might have left. It is, without doubt, somewhat irritating on repeated exposure. It isn’t, however, boring.