Eric Copeland Joke in the Hole

Eric CopelandJoke in the Hole
Eric Copeland has always created "difficult music for the masses." With the long-running Black Dice and four solo albums, Copeland regularly manages to smooth over sharp, discordant rhythms with waxy, warm-sounding beats. On Joke in the Hole, his latest full-length, the Brooklyn, NY laptopist has crafted the closest thing to an honest-to-goodness experimental DJ set. Allowing songs to uniformly flow into one other, Joke in the Hole's 11 instrumentals feel like they were written to serve the album as a whole. Opening track "Rozki" utilizes tempered junkyard percussion that wittingly downshifts until it encounters the casual low-end of "Grapes," before conjoining with the opaque pulse of "Tinkerbell." As the second-half of the album is broken down into shorter, more digestible rhythmscapes, tracks like the warped disco of "Bobby Strong" and the chewy "Cheap Treat" keep the energy high. Joke in the Hole is undoubtedly Eric Copeland's strongest release, a cycle of songs that brazenly possess both structural maturity and childlike weirdness. (DFA)