November 19, 2007


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 5:03 pm by berniexltd

I avoid reading music reviews for the most part. I hate em’. Occasionally a magazine interview or article can gear me into discovering new stuff, but it’s rare that I read something that actually provides an insight beyond redundancies, masturbatory buzz words and terminology that reduce the listening experience into an associative sub-categorization game that wants some solid definition in which to pigeonhole what they hear. How I am any different I don’t know, just that I seldom if ever read music reviews . To quote the poet Kieth Buckley “I have a very expensive pen. I use big words quite often in substitution for semantically equivalent words”.

What I love about experimental music is that it animates the psychology of listening through cathartic abstractions and free association, liberating the unconsciousness in a way that the confines of popular music overlooks. One can define anarchy as “the absence or non-recognition of authority in any given sphere” or “a theoretical social state in which there is no governing person or body of persons, but each individual has absolute liberty (without the implication of disorder)”. To me, noise music is like anarchy in this respect – you can create sounds that employ noise as a device that builds a sonic landscape, negating conventional approaches to structure and order, all while having some semblance of it if not any. Black Dice has gotten better at this since they started going beyond ‘noise for the sake of it’, approaching musicianship with an ensemble of effect pedals and beat machines the way Jackson Pollock would pick up a paintbrush and stare in front of a blank canvas.

In an interview with, when asked if their approach is intentionally post-modern or anti-instrumental, Aaron Warren responded that “…I don’t think we’ve ever talked about stuff in quite academic terms like that, although we are all quite aware of what’s going on culturally – like where we live, and what’s going on in the art world… but I don’t think that we ever talk about things in terms of motivation like that. I don’t think the primary motivation for anyone is to plan a sound and write something out. I think that’s the sort of idea that a third party would choose to contextualize things that way, but for us its just really organic, its just our life, we are thinking about it, talking about, working on stuff everyday. There really is no separation from it at this point…”

Now Brooklyn based, Black Dice emerged from the Rhode Island School of Art and Design in the late 90’s as a noisy-thrash band, who over the course of their career have morphed into flirtations with more psychedelic and trance-like conceptions of noise, prog, and afro-beat align with Boredoms or an off-kilter Brian Eno. Providence, Rhode Island has churned out a scene with some of the most interesting groups to reach my ear drums. From the early days of Talking Heads, to more recently Les Savy Fav, Lightning Bolt, White Mice, and Daughters.

Take a break from your life, get a pair of good headphones, and listen to Black Dice’s latest effort Load Blown. Some of you will hate it. Some of you will love it. Some won’t know what the fuck to think. But that’s all okay. The ambiguity is part of the ride.

Black Dice is playing this Wednesday November 21st at the Vacuum with two of Philly’s most interesting bands as of late – Pissed Jeans and Red Rocket. Even with the looming grandeur of Thanksgiving and familial obligations approaching the next day, this is a show worth pissing off your parents for.

Black Dice (DFA/ Astralwerks)

Pissed Jeans

Red Rocket

The Vacuum

2nd and Tighlman Streets

Philadelphia, PA