Brudenell & Room 237 Presents
Thursday 12th May 2011
BLACK DICE (Paw Tracks, DFA/ Brooklyn) + Neil Campbell/Mick Flower + Soldiers of fortune.
We are very excited to finally book an act that we have been trying to get back to Leeds for a while. They are over for Animal Collective's ATP in May and one of the most pioneering experimental, electronic acts over the last decade.
Jumbo and Crash tickets to follow shortly.
Black Dice formed in spring 1997 soon after guitarist Bjorn Copeland met drummer Hisham Bharoocha at the Rhode Island School of Design. Joined by Bjorn's brother Eric Copeland on vocals and bassist Sebastian Blanck, their early sound has been described[by whom?] as thrash-influenced noise. They released several 7"s and embarked on a few brief tours before Blanck left the group and was replaced by Aaron Warren. In 1999 the band moved to New York City and began to experiment with their sound, with Warren and the brothers incorporating more pedals into their setup and slowly leaving their earlier hardcore-leaning style in favor of more rhythmic music similar to motorik and dub music.
Brothers Eric and Bjorn Copeland and Aaron Warren have spent over a decade recording and touring all over the world. While their earlier sound can be described as a mix of early-eighties-inspired thrash and harsh noise, the band has changed their music with each record and era of performance. The music currently retains elements of noise and proto-industrial experimentation, but also includes Minimal techno, Hip-Hop and Psychedelic music as well as Punk rock, Tropicalia and Dub. Black Dice formed during the spring of 1997 in Providence, Rhode Island. At the time, Bjorn Copeland (guitar), Hisham Bharoocha (drums), and Sebastian Blanck (bass) were students at the Rhode Island School of Design while Eric Copeland (vocals) was still attending high school in Maine. Early shows seldom lasted more than fifteen minutes and were characterized by violent performances where injuries were often sustained by the band and 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 where Eric was going to college. At an early New York performance the band met current member Aaron Warren who had recently moved from Los Angeles to attend NYU. In the spring of 1999 Sebastian left the band and Aaron joined the group.
It was around that time that the emphasis shifted from conventional song structures to more open-ended sonic investigations. Shows of this era maintained an equally physical presence through the use of high volume levels and an extreme range of frequencies, and violent performance became less frequent. The music bore more resemblance to crude first generation industrial music or contemporary power electronics than straight noise or hardcore.
By the fall of 2001 live shows had grown in length to almost five or six times of the earlier sets, with the occasional song reaching 45 minutes. An emphasis on signal processing provided a broader sonic palette. While volume and physical presence of sound remained crucial, melody and repetition became key compositional elements. In spring of 2004, the band parted ways with longtime drummer and friend Hisham Bharoocha. Though a trying transition, the band continued writing, recording and touring as a three-piece. Metamorphosed once again, Black Dice emerged as a tight compositional unit, with little emphasis remaining on improvisation or long-form songs. A near-pop sensibility was embraced, with shorter and catchier tunes.
Visual art has been a key counterpart to the music, with all record-sleeve design made by band members. Artists Ara Peterson and Danny Perez have made videos for songs, and Mr. Perez has contributed a live video mix to the band's live set since fall of 2005. Recent releases include limited edition posters, and in summer 2005, the group released its first non-music object; a 128-page book of collage art made in collaboration with photographer Jason Frank Rothenberg. In 2007, the band made their first video with “Kokomo”, a visual mash up of images culled from television and the internet.
The band has toured America and Europe dozens of times, and has visited Japan twice. In 2005, the trio recorded an album in Byron Bay, Australia following a tour. In 2006, the band played in Brazil and a live set was captured on national television in Lima, Peru. Virtually any and every type of venue has served as the backdrop for Black Dice shows; from basements and warehouses to art galleries and museums, from house shows to gigantic outdoor festivals or formal seated theaters. Placing the music in a context contrary to the average show remains a compelling inspiration for unique performances. The band have been chosen by Animal Collective to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that they will curate in May 2011.
The release of the album Beaches and Canyons on DFA/Fat Cat and its follow-up, 2004's Creature Comforts saw the band reaching a worldwide audience. However the band was set back with the departure of Bharoocha and their cancellation of a heavily-planned tour co-headlined by their friends Animal Collective. Nonetheless, reduced to a trio, Black Dice recorded Broken Ear Record in Australia in early 2005. Without a drummer, their music took another turn towards Afrobeat and breakbeat. Having been together almost ten years, the group has performed shows in five continents sharing the stage with artists including The Residents and Godspeed You Black Emperor.
Animal Collective's member Noah Lennox said about Black Dice in an interview with The Milk Factory in 2005: "[...] I feel like the wisest things I’ve learned about being in a band I learned by watching them." In early 2009, he confirmed in an interview with Magic that he looks to Black Dice "as a model for a band. [...] I feel like as a band, I can't speak for the other guys [of Animal Collective], but certainly for myself, like I modelled the way I approach to everything with the band watching the way Black Dice did it."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBnJbTzTHsM - BBC Live session.