Black Dice - Mod Prog Sic Music Album Reviews

Black Dice - Mod Prog Sic Music Album Reviews
Sounding at once meticulous and reckless, sinister and goofy, the experimental trio’s first album in nearly a decade is its most direct appeal to the pleasure center.

Listening to Black Dice has always been a daunting proposition. After years of primal catharsis therapy on early releases like Semen of the Sun and Cold Hands, the Brooklyn-based trio of Aaron Warren and brothers Bjorn and Eric Copeland began to mellow out with 2002’s Beaches & Canyons. With that album, Black Dice transformed into something more expansive and far stranger: an abstract rock group who tore up the experimental-rock blueprint. This was psychedelia that had roots in space rock, electronic music, underground dance clubs, and lo-fi ambient. They also summoned a bizarre strain of new age that carried an undertow of tumult, a subliminal threat to the peace they were trying to induce. The dominant aesthetic became something like avant-garde slapstick, with constant tension between hypnotic and disruptive impulses.

Mod Prog Sic, Black Dice’s seventh album and first since 2012’s Mr. Impossible, continues their uncompromising approach. The opening “Bad Bet” reintroduces their predilection for shifting moods and subverting expectations several times per minute. It bursts into life with no niceties, as if it had been accumulating pressure in a laboratory vat. After an intro of sinister, prowling electronic music that recalls Cabaret Voltaire’s Red Mecca, a buoyant, 130-plus BPM techno beat launches the track into an unsettling strain of 3 a.m. dance-floor hedonism. You don’t raise your hands in exultation to Black Dice’s club bangers; you use them to cup your skull in confusion. Like their best work, it sounds at once meticulous and reckless, sinister and goofy.

More than two decades into their career, Black Dice have shorn away some of the chaos and turbulence that once swirled through their music. The change brings their brutish beats and scrapyard percussion into sharper relief. The diseased, mocking guitar tone and choppy vocal sample that populate “Tuned Out” evoke Butthole Surfers during their peak 1980s live debauchery. “Tuned Out” builds a potent momentum that reminds you that guitarist/electronics wiz Eric Copeland released three records on club-oriented label L.I.E.S. These songs are still riddled with distortion and akimbo rhythms, but the music is streamlined into a twisted functionality, doing to your hips what they’d previously done to your mind.

More than ever, Mod Prog Sic extends Copeland’s demented dance-floor sensibilities to their illogical ends. “Big Chip” features the funkiest beats on the album, while “Jocko” approximates the wah-wah guitar from Isaac Hayes’s “Theme From Shaft” and then warps it into a strafing Roland 303 acid riff, processing the elements into a Rube Goldberg machine jitter. A peppy, distorted species of techno, “Downward Arrow” is the cut most likely to get dance floors throbbing, with its whip-crack beats and croaking “yeah yeah yeah”s. While nodding to pop music’s impulse to get bodies moving, Black Dice can’t help undermining it with indecipherable voices and arcade-game warbles that whirl around the rhythm.

Black Dice’s 2009 album Repo prominently featured the phrase “Go where new experiences await you” on its cover. A quarter-century into their career, and after a nine-year hiatus, this mantra still guides their work. While they revel in disorientation, Mod Prog Sic marks the trio’s most direct appeal to the pleasure center.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Black Dice - Mod Prog Sic Music Album Reviews Black Dice - Mod Prog Sic Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 14, 2021 Rating: 5


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