By: Ron Hart
In the last ten years, Black Dice has created music together, and fans have seen the Brooklyn-based trio's sound shift in many wild, unorthodox ways, from their early roots praying at the altar of noise-core gods like Melt Banana and Unwound to the excellent excursions in atmospheric electronics of their tenure on the DFA label right up to their current, drum-machine-smashing sonic assaults on Animal Collective's Paw Tracks imprint. Repo (released April 7 on Paw Tracks), the group's fourth proper full-length, aims to harness their decade of kaleidoscopic chaos into a singular, cohesive sound, one that offers a more rhythmic core than anything Black Dice has previously created.
Shades of such early NYC no-disco pioneers as Liquid Liquid and ESG are more harnessed in the grooves of key tracks like the Beaches and Canyons-gone-South Bronx opening cut "Nite Crème" and "Lazy TV," as is that annoying penchant for going a little crazy with the roll button on the drum machine, as they so annoyingly displayed on their dreadful 2007 Load Blown EP. "Glazin" takes the sound I used to get trying to hone in on the sorely missed classic NYC hip-hop FM station WBLS back when I was a kid from Upstate New York on my shitty Radio Shack boom box and transforms the static, barely-audible soul emanating from the speaker into something mesmerizing and beautiful. Meanwhile, "La Cucaracha" is the sound of Latin freestyle eviscerated by the conductor's wand of Karlheinz Stockhausen and "Idiots Pasture" wouldn't sound out of place with an old school Murda Muzik-era Prodigy verse laced atop of it.
Accompanying the madness is a 20-page book of artwork from the members of Black Dice that rivals just about everything you’ll gaze your weary eyes upon at a Dumbo Arts Center show. If you jumped off the bandwagon the moment Black Dice left DFA, here's your chance to regain a little respect for your fickle-ass taste.
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