Archive for the Black Dice Category

Black Dice – Load Blown (Paw Tracks) 2007

Posted in Black Dice, Music, noise on December 18, 2007 by noisenoisenoise

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Ah …. Black Dice. I picked up my first Black Dice album a couple of years ago and although I’ve said previously that Wolf Eyes were my introduction to experimental music I think it really must have been Black Dice’s Beaches and Canyons where it all started. My listening relationship with Black Dice has always been uncomfortable. Maybe it was because every review I ever read spoke about experimental blissed, folk tinged electronica (OK it was only one review) and I was thinking more Spacemen 3 than the obtuse avant electronic skull fuckery noise of Beaches and Canyons.

My discomfort comes from my inability to grab hold of any of the music. The beats are always intentionally woozy, nay slippery things that just when I think a track may coalesce around some form, a mountain of electronic bastardry grabs the whole garbled mess and again takes it past my grasp. The woozy beats are re-introduced. Like a glitchy computer game soundtrack being beaten like a ginger step child. Oh there are moments of beauty and transcendence but these are rare. I’d go so far as to say Black Dice are a sadistic fuckers, hell bent on infuriating their audience. It’s like techno for cockroaches.

So its with some trepidation that I approached the latest Black Dice offering. Load Blown is essentially a compilation of sorts. It incorporates all of their recent 12 inches onto one disc. Having listened to it all the way through before realising this I might add that it works pretty well an album in it own right. To be fair though, in some way this is the whole premise of Black Dice, for a band that revels in throwing out the rule book there is a strange consistency in what they do. Load Blown reminds me of an electronic version of Animal Collective in some ways. Look I know that it is a lazy comparison and not just because both bands are on Paw Tracks. To me, t both bands are on a similar trajectory, abandoning their hatred for the listener for a more frank and tangible expression of their sound.

The other thing to note about Load Blown, is that the tracks all have a certain brevity to them. There are no tracks longer than 7 1/2 minutes and maybe this is the reason this record works for me so well. Instead of incorporating a hundred ideas into each of their tracks they are happy to crush in a fraction of that number. The beats on this record hold the songs together not rip them apart. Sure their are some truly baffling experimental flourishes on this (it is a Black Dice record after all), but it’s probably their most accessible thing of their’s that I’ve heard to date. It’s a sure fire entrant into my 2007 top ten.

Wolf Eyes and Black Dice – Selftitled (Fusetron) 2001

Posted in Black Dice, noise, Wolf Eyes on August 18, 2007 by noisenoisenoise

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I’m always a little skeptical of collaborations. And if you have been burned like me on previous outings let me set your mind at rest. This record fucking rocks.

You just know something is going right when you kinda hear the two separate bands but you kinda don’t. And then you realise that this sounds like an entirely new band and it works and that the egos must have been left at the door. It’s a strange collaboration. The free noise, electronic, sun blissed, psychedelic Black Dice combined with the harsh, evil, bloodloss inducing, skull fuckery of Wolf Eyes. It just shouldn’t fucking work.

The first track on this starts like it should be an out take of Beaches and Canyons and then you start to hear it. No fuck it you start to feel it. Thudding through the earphones. The coming evil squelches through the electronic loop and just when I got comfortable with that the swarm of flies arrive. Its a fucking great start and only get better. Track two starts with a high pitch electronic tone that can only have one purpose and that is to kill brain cells before morphing into a dark ambient chestnut. Is that Santa’s sleighbells I hear under the mix? Nup they’ve gone again. Track 3 starts like a Wolf Eyes harsh noise thing before dirty dancing with the space rock free jam that Black Dice bring to the party. It is just so good. Track 4 is barely there, a mediation in minimalism. A very unnerving meditation in minimalism. The silence expands into Track 5 and again the noise is turned down. Another tremendous ambient track. It is neither Wolf Eyes nor is it not Black Dice. Track 6 could be John Zorn. Track 7 has us back in experimental ambient territory and it is mesmerising and trance inducing.

If only all collaborations could be this good.

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