Dogs Versus Shadows
Dogs versus Shadows is the musical moniker of Lee Pylon, the DJ behind ‘Kites & Pylons’: the weekly radio show of otherwordly electronica, on Doncaster’s Sine FM.
Lee’s debut release takes inspiration from old tv idents, cues from 70s Dr Who and VHS-era slashers, late night shortwave intercepts and EVP; bundled up in a blanket of Cold War paranoia. He has created an album heavy with the sonic ghosts of the past and set it in a frightening near future.
“I’m a bit obsessed with alternative futures and/or parallel worlds: Royston Vasey, Scarfolk, Orwell’s 1984, Tales from the Loop, Black Mirror, the whole ‘Wyrd Albion’ thing,” Lee said. “All that going to my bedroom after watching Dr Who and instead of going to sleep, scanning the shortwave radio band for weird noises and falling asleep to ‘numbers stations’ has clearly encoded itself into my DNA…”
The album was conceived and created during the 2020 pandemic: an era of rising death counts on 24 hour TV news, gloomy press conferences and televised addresses to the nation.
“The otherwordliness of the whole situation made me feel like I was living in an alternative universe, one from which there was no escape. Coupled with a worldwide ‘lockdown’, deserted streets and boarded up shops, I was instantly transported to the past wrapped up inside the present,” Lee said. “Being a child of the 70s, I remember the 3 day week, strikes, and an era of paranoia about nuclear war, Protect and Survive on the telly. In some ways, it was a depressing time to grow up in”.
The idea of a nation being controlled en masse because of an ever-present threat struck me as a terrifying prospect - what if this continues after the pandemic? The stern ministerial instructions to the people, an increase in the already surveillance-heavy streets, cameras, ‘detector vans’…
Lee enagaged in a series of bizarre ‘what if’s’, one of which prompted the idea that ‘even the crows flying low over rooftops will be wearing a ‘wire’ to record people’s conversations’, which gave birth to the album’s title.
“It’s not even ‘The Crows wear a wire’, it’s ‘This Crow’…the one that has been sent: it’s got a job to do, you know: a department to report back to!” said Lee.
The sonic palette from which Lee draws ranges from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, to the coarse noises of Aphex Twin and Ekoplekz, the lo-fi off-kilter beats of Best Available Technology and the ‘modern hauntology’ of Burial. While fans of his referenced musicians will enjoy this music, like the boot of a world-weary riot copper, Lee has firmly stamped his own take on proceedings and refuses to let you go until the final discordant noise has ended.