Monday, June 15, 2009

Black Dice - Tour only single on Catsup Plate

Last night I caught Black Dice at Bowery Ballroom, after a pretty exhausting weekend of Northside fest shows, and I just happened to check the merch table because never know there just might a single...even from an opening band, I'll always pick it up.
I asked the guy behind the table if this weirdo camouflage was Black Dice and sure enough it was. He pointed to a tiny stack of about 50 on a shelf next to him. "That's a tour only single and we only have this many left and then they are completely gone...forever. "
You already had me at 7"...
I was so excited this made it home ok and I put it on this morning to check it out.
The show was impressive, I've seen these guys in the past, but I don't remember it being this intense. So completely overwhelming, it takes everything over in volume and just continuous pummeling of sound and experience. There's nothing else but Black Dice making noise.
It's also weird to hear this live and I get self conscious I'm actually at a techno show, and everyone is on E or something. But just when that bass snare bass gets too repetitive they're on to the next idea.
They must have some kind of copyrighted processor because they just have this particular fucked up sinister sound. I think that's the other thing that saves them from ever crossing that terrible line. They want to rock you a little bit dance, but you're too scared to's a nice combination. So I think 'What the fuck, this is good' and that's the end of it.

This single is completely unlabeled except for the Catsup plate CPR726 in the lower front corner.
Let me just say this is a different direction from the pure sound glitches on Beaches and Canyons. 'Chocolate Cherry': Right away they've sampled something and pitch shift it up and down with some vocals on top really slow. Then it works into an electric guitar chord, slowed down into another sound. There's warbly waves of high pitch ear splitting sound, but this doesn't really go anywhere. Maybe this is a unlicensed sample and someone could tell me that's the catch here...that would explain why it's so limited.
The B-Side 'Pop STD' is more manipulated samples, it sounds like the source could have been slightly reggae or dub, it's got that slightly delayed. An acoustic guitar is pitch shifted to create a new chord progression. I'm into pasting their sound on top of samples like this, but I've gotten this from Girl Talk, Panda Bear and a thousand others. I like when there's no frame of reference...they do that so well, it's weird to use a crutch like this. The last track 'Bob' does more of the same briefly...I guess they are evolving...and maybe like animal collective came to this otherworldly pop place after years of pure sound collage, Black Dice is finding something new in DJ mixing culture after going as far as humanly possible with pure sound.

From Catsup Plate records:

Ordering info
All copies currently with Black Dice on tour.

Black Dice's "Chocolate Cherry" seven inch comes hot on the heels of their album Repo (which is Catsup Plate's favorite Black Dice record) and finds the band pushing themselves further "out" and paradoxically making some of the poppiest sounds to come from their camp in some time.

If Repo was the sound of Black Dice making a funk record then "Chocolate Cherry" veers more towards soul, if you can believe that. The title track is all clipped ecstatic vocals and stuttering disco soul. "POP STD" pins a laconic guitar line and backmasked vocals onto a plodding drum line. And the record closes with the amazingly titled "Bob" which somehow merges insect like buzzing, an incessantly lazy rhythm and what this writer likes to think is a sitar drone (but probably isn't) into a piece of druggy brilliance.

Silkscreened on heavy chipboard in four colors by the fine folks at VG Kids.

Single edition of 500 copies only. All initial copies are to be sold on the band's Spring 2009 US tour. Any remaining copies will be made available upon the band's return.

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