The Art of Black Dice

The Art of<b> Black Dice</b>
When artists fuse mediums, the results can be otherworldly. Just take Brooklyn's groundbreaking instrumentalists Black Dice, who began as an assaulting sonic platform for visual art projects and rapidly evolved into one of modern music's most lauded and aurally stimulating experiences.

While all of Black Dice's members delve the waters of visual art and sound treatment, each has his own specialty - guitarist Bjorn Copeland designs sound-based installations and is represented by New York's Daniel Reich gallery, younger brother Eric Copeland sings and writes, bassist Aaron Warren is a filmmaker, and drummer Hisham Bharoocha (who recently left the group due to an overbearing schedule) is a photographer.

The band's sense for creating stimulating visuals takes the forefront on their sophomore effort, Creature Comforts (DFA), which finds them at their freest and most organic while once again defying expectations, as they've been doing with each subsequent release since their first violently riffing untitled seven-inch EP for Gravity was released back in 1998.

"That early stuff was definitely closer to thrash or something like that," says Bjorn Copeland, "which is weird because I never really knew about all that stuff until after we started playing with different bands."

After four more abrasive EPs Black Dice took an abrupt left-turn into tense psychedelia with 2001's Peace in the Valley seven-inch (31G). Housed in a 40-page booklet that showcases the band's unique prowess for mysteriously cropped photography and cosmos-worshipping collage work, this EP only served as a teaser for their 2002 magnum opus debut, Beaches & Canyons (DFA). Since then, the sky's the only limit.

"Our sounds and tones have this mellow and soothing quality, but they're being utilised at super-high volumes and being juxtaposed with really dynamic sounds and textures," observes Copeland. "The way we write stuff hasn't really changed, but I think now it's more contemplative or aggressively mellow."