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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Black Dice
Creature Comforts
DFA Records

Rating: 6/10 ?


October 1, 2004
It can be said with much certainty that noise for the sake of noise is not always a good thing. It's not often that a younger sibling asking the same question over and over again or some Capri pants wearing yuppie playing with his car alarm is a noise that is unnecessary but satisfying. However, noise that just is can be an entirely different experience. I remember being 16 years old, trying to fall asleep after a night of pot smoking, but unable to accomplish my soporific goal. Slowly I became aware of a noise that existed just on the threshold of my consciousness, a soft fizzing sound. I got up and looked everywhere, but to no avail. As I lay down in bed again, utterly frustrated, it hit me like an orgasm. A glass of ginger ale sat upon my bedside table, and the sound of the bubbles rapidly, softly exploding against the side of the glass in slow reverie was the audio culprit in question. Was this just physics or noise for the sake of noise? It's nice to increase the weight of a common occurrence, so let's go with the latter.

Black Dice has a single method of operation, and that is noise, sound, audio manipulation, and they sculpt and mold it into freeform experiments that are as minimal as they are intricate. On the EP that served as a precursor to Creature Comforts, "Miles of Smiles" unloaded soothing cricket sounds before devolving into digi-ambience and a found-sound collage of several movements. Originally created for the Poetry of Sex art exhibit in Tokyo, the track moved with a soft intensity over the course of 13 minutes. While it was interesting and ear catching in several moments, it was also cold and not all that moving, although that may very well have been the intention. With Creature Comforts, Black Dice mimic more intensely the ideas behind "Trip Dude Delay," placing layers of sweeping vocals, synths, and jammed out electronic sounds upon one in an Orb-like array of soft tones and velvety patterns. Of course, Black Dice have become wielders of the a vicious axe capable of splicing tranquility and chaos together, implanting a surreal element that is overtaken by a cacophony of washed out distortion before settling back into ensembles of organic sounds.

The noise is noise and it's noise for the sake of other noises, but Black Dice know how to insert structure into their experimentation, gripping the warm, beating heart of humanity with the dead, frozen fingers of post-industrial noise art. The structure is there, hiding beneath the white chatter of earthly sounds, however not so rigidly as to implement any sort of order. Just enough to nudge Creature Comforts just over the line into the territory of "song" over "jerk off."

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker

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