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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Black Dice: Repo


1) Nite Creme; 2) Glazin; 3) Earnings Plus Interest; 4) Whirligig; 5) La Cucaracha; 6) Idiots Pasture; 7) Lazy TV; 8) Buddy; 9) Ten Inches; 10) Chicken Shit; 11) Vegetable; 12) Urban Supermist; 13) Ultra Vomit Craze; 14) Gag Shack.

Albums like these easily get me confused. There is no denying that, once again, Black Dice are working, and trying, and honestly looking for new ideas and new ways of expression — and yet, not a single one of these ideas registers anywhere, not a single second of this album carries... nay, produces the impression of carrying some sort of meaning. If anything, they are even busier and fussier here than they were before, but what for? Beats me.

There is a track here called ʽUltra Vomit Crazeʼ. Now I cannot count myself as a major fan of vomit craze, or vomit in general, but I can admit that a certain musical allegory of an abstract «vomit craze» might have an interesting realization. The problem is that the track has nothing about it that would really come close to a «vomit craze». In reality, it is six and a half minutes of a boring trip-hop rhythm with three or four grumbly electronic loops and some echoey Tarzan-style battle cries in the background. Uh... okay. What am I supposed to do with those? It's way too repetitive to be «normal music» and too poorly put together to become a «sonic painting» of any sort. Maybe if you put on your headphones, inhale some wormwood, stand on your head, and play it backwards, you are guaranteed to «get it», but I dare not try.

Supposedly, some of the tracks are multi-level deconstructions — ʽLa Cucarachaʼ would suggest that they are making fun of Latin music, and if you listen hard enough, you can track down cer­tain mutated variations on various Latin rhythms at the beginning of the track, but by the third minute, they are all forgotten in favor of rapidly shifting quirky electronic patterns that sound like a bunch of robots having nothing better to do on a Saturday evening, sitting on the porch and playing some of their jugband robot blues. Wait, that actually might sound intriguing — in reality, these loops are nothing like robot blues. They are just... loops. They mean nothing to me, and I would be very much surprised if they meant anything to you. (Then again, one Amazon reviewer did find this to be «one of the most rewarding listens of my life» — I sure wish he'd donated some of his DNA to a respectable scientific institution).

Nor does it help them in any way when they cut down on the overall number of «epics» and start working on laconic ideas — there are several very brief links here that run from twenty seconds to just over a minute, and some of the loop-based «songs» have the length of an old-fashioned pop single, but what good is multiplying and dissecting your ideas if they all suck? It only helps perpetuate the idea that Black Dice are, in fact, devoid of proper talent, and their squandering away their original act was like Samson cutting his own hair for no other reason than... being an idiot? Thumbs down in certified disgust and disappointment.

Check "Repo" (CD) on Amazon
Check "Repo" (MP3) on Amazon

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