Released 15th May
Basic Colour Theory has been described as ‘sonic exploration’, leaving me wondering what exactly it is that the Polish duo Catz ‘N Dogs are trying to achieve with this, their second studio offering.
Throughout their career to this point Catz ‘N Dogs have been notoriously hard to pin down to one definitive sound, a characteristic which this new release shares. Numerous different influences, including 70s and 80s disco, techno, and funk, can be heard throughout the album in obvious and subtle ways, something that can be explained by album’s title. In trying to imitate colour with their production, Catz ‘N Dogz have produced some tracks which only artistic terms like lush and rich can accurately describe. This is seen heavily in tracks such as ‘Coming Back’ and ‘Good Touch’, which evoke images of sunsets and tropical forests respectively. ‘Coming Back’ especially uses many different production tools to paint the desired image, including the use of manipulated vocals to create a melody, and the sound of crickets to make the listener imagine a relaxing, dusky location, in a similar manner to experimental artists like Flume and What So Not.
Despite this, there are still tracks that are recognizably similar to previous Catz ‘N Dogz releases. For example, ‘Nobody Cares’ includes the strong bass kick and low, driving synths that made tracks such as ‘Evil Tram’ so popular. Although they are undoubtedly going to be well-liked, the inclusion of these tracks, alongside the newer, more experimental sounds, causes the album to be quite stop-start, with no real flow to it.
Overall, the album does an excellent job of presenting abundant new themes, and intricacies in production, but feels less like a defined new sound, and more just a demonstration that Catz ‘N Dogz are able to produce variation. This makes the album difficult to understand as a single presentation, and unfortunately, sound like yet another compilation, rather the fluid production that they are definitely capable of producing.