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Black Dice

Lost Valley

Tigerbeat6
CD $3.50

11/12/2002

MEOW 063CD 


Black Dice formed during the spring of 1997 in Providence, Rhode Island, as a loud, chaotic mix of early-'80s-inspired thrash and harsh noise experimentation. Early shows seldom lasted more than 15 minutes and were characterized by violent performances where injuries were often sustained by Bjorn Copeland (guitar), Hisham Bharoocha (drums), Eric Copeland (vocals), Sebastian Blanck (bass), and the audience alike. Live sets mixed structured songs with improvised sound manipulation and shows differed from night to night. In the summer of 1998 the band relocated to NYC; at an early New York performance, the band met Aaron Warren, who later replaced Sebastian. Around this time the emphasis shifted from conventional song structures to more open-ended sonic investigations. Black Dice maintained an equally physical presence through the use of high volume levels and an extreme range of frequencies, though injuries became less frequent. The music bore more resemblance to crude, first-generation industrial music or contemporary power electronics than straight noise or hardcore. Importantly, many of the changes in sound were related to the use of outdated electronics and unconventional instrumentation. By the fall of 2001 live shows had grown to almost five or six times the length of earlier sets, with the occasional song reaching 45 minutes. The unorthodox instrumentation continued to evolve, and an emphasis on signal processing provided a broader range of sounds to work with. While volume and physical presence of sound remained crucial, melody and repetition became key elements that songs were composed upon. The shift in focus introduced a new gentle and tuneful quality to the intense, brash music. Currently, the music retains elements of noise and proto-industrial experimentation, while organically suggesting minimal, ambient electronic, and psychedelic ideas, as well as those of tropicalia and dub. Black Dice is now the organized presentation of improvised sound, assembled into deliberate structures based on visual concepts. The band has toured America four times. Houses and warehouses have served as venues as often as clubs, though currently the band's desire for high fidelity sound demands a superior PA system than what such alternative spaces generally provide. However, placing the music in a context contrary to the average show remains a compelling inspiration for unique performances.

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