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«Back? Forward!»

The Russian trio Dogs Bite Back brings together prolific improvisers from the Moscow scene – bass guitarist Dmitry Lapshin, the bandleader of Brom, and from the Saint-Petersburg scene – modular synth player Ilia Belorukov, who runs the alternative label Intonema, and drummer Konstantin Samolovov. Dogs Bite Back is the new incarnation of the acoustic duo of Lapshin and Belorukov who began playing together as a double bass plus alto sax duo in 2017, but a year later switched into the current formation and enlisted drummer Samolovov, who adds various objects and voice recorder to the mix. «Back? Forward!» is the second album of the trio and was recorded Live at Serdce, Saint Petersburg and at Cement Factory Studio in July 2019, six months before the trio recorded its debut self-released album, «First Blood»,  at the same studio.

The free-improvised music of Dogs Bite Back is nervous and impulsive and flows with punkish energy. Belorukov creates merciless, electromagnetic storms with his vintage synth, Lapshin injects with his effects-laden bass aggressive and distorted edges into these intense storms and Samolovov pushes the dense commotion backward and forward with his manic drumming, but often settles on tribal patterns. Somehow, Dogs Bite Back managed to distill these sonic storms into a surprisingly coherent sonic identity that has its own logic and its own hi-octane sound.

Dogs Bite Back is not interested in nuanced textures but is totally focused on fully immersing themselves in continuous bursts of reckless, wild energy, and an endless series of noisy collisions. The extended «Are You Serious?» is the only exception and suggests slow-cooking dynamics, moving from the sparse and patient into the dense and intense freak-out. «You Are a Beast!» and the last «Ga-ga-gah» succeeds in transforming the hazy storms into addictive rhythmic patterns.

Some dogs are better kept untamed and allowed to bark free.

Eyal Hareuveni

Ilia Belorukov (modular synth), Dmitry Lapshin (b-g, effect pedals), Konstantin Samolovov (dr, objects, voice rec)

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