(04.2009, Paw Tracks)
RIYL = Kemialliset Ystavat, Excepter, Kid Koala on acid
Black Dice have always been on the brink of a major breakthrough. I’m not talking about international indie stardom or universal critical success – they’ve had their share of that (however limited or short-lived that’s been). And this also isn’t to say that their previous releases haven’t been successful. There is nary a disc that Black Dice have produced that hasn’t been as kookily ingenious as it has been wonderfully weird. No, Black Dice is great. However, in the midst of their singularly original sound there has been a constant and ever building air of potential. A potential for something that goes beyond the already nuts delicious alien ice cream truck music they’ve mastered in their tenure. Every step they’ve take has pushed them closer to this indefinable ‘it’ moment, but they’ve almost willfully left that end goal of a masterpiece just beyond the fingertips of their constructions. Well, it appears that the build up has finally approached a breaking point (contrary to what they’re last album insinuates). With Repo, the band's 5th/6th full length album, Black Dice have conceded to their master work. Or have they? I have been listening to this thing over and over with differing results. I’ll tell you one thing, on my first listen I, within the first two tracks I was ready to anoint Black Dice as the kings of spaced out noise oddity, however, it wouldn’t be a Black Dice record if there wasn’t a curveball or five to break you down as a listener and require you to either quit amidst the confusing rumble or endure to the realization of greener pastures. Yep, I was beginning to consider this the left field anti-pop masterpiece that Load Blown flew just short of, but then no. Repo is much more than that. And at times less. It’s contortionist music for gorillas with brain damage. It’s hip hop for the living dead. It’s something…else. There is no true describing it really, but on Repo there is an added emphasis on some almost hip hop style sampling that adds a breath of fresh air. While it may not be that perfect record I had hoped for, it’s undeniably high class and more enjoyable with each listen (maybe it will be that perfect record). It definitely has some of my favourite Black Dice moments ever, so expect that when you approach this record. And also, make sure you make it to the second half of the record. I tried to tread through the confounding middle section a couple times without success, but once I hit that last half I found a whole conglomerate of blissed out genius that floored me just as heavily as those first to tracks. Another beautiful thing about Black Dice is that they have developed a visual aesthetic that perfectly matches their sound. Their scattered collage images, bustling with bright neons and interspersed with fragmented photographs, seem to carry the visual weight of their equally bright and fragmented music. It is a beautiful fusion of mediums and indication of true artistry. Repo has a huge art booklet that more than makes a physical purchase worthwhile. In the end, Repo has proved itself a stalwart record worthy of its creator’s prowess. Oh, and if you read the Tiny Mix Tapes review, “he just doesn’t get it.” It's a confusing review for a confusing record, but that's just how BD roll.
Black Dice - "Glazin"