Black Dice Black Dice / Wolf Eyes (w/ Wolf Eyes)

[Fusetron; 2003]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: noise, dance, house, urban, industrial, tribal
Others: Animal Collective, Excepter, Throbbing Gristle

Black Dice and Wolf Eyes, two of today's most popular noise sculptors (at least among twentysomethings), have consolidated to produce 30 minutes of that noise that you either love, hate, or simply don't understand. Does the result surpass earlier efforts from both groups? I think a more appropriate question is: Does it even matter? Since this is neither a Black Dice release nor a Wolf Eyes release, comparisons to previous releases are moot; it's a collaborative effort from two years ago. Similarly, it'd be just as uninformed to surmise that the combination of two major noise groups equates to something double as strong. As many of you are well aware, no matter how good it may seem on paper, the results hardly ever remain true on record.

Thankfully, this collaborative effort is a success. What easily could have been a fend-for-yourself, survival-of-the-fittest battle for the spotlight, Black Dice and Wolf Eyes instead play off one another with both conviction and restraint, evidenced in the confident intermingling of instruments and the little-to-no excess noise throughout the entire album. Rather than piling on the fat, Black Dice and Wolf Eyes achieve a symbiotic balance with their meditative drones, oscillating sine waves, and confrontational statics, while still preserving their distinctive styles. Indeed, these noise practitioners are team players. However, one might argue that both exploring new sonic territory and eschewing musical conventions constitute cold, sterile, abstract, and ambiguous music that denies human emotions and provides little comfort. So what's the point? Besides, they argue, experimentation is overrated. Perhaps. But so is melody.

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