Black Dice, Deradoorian
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, Maryland, 21044
Merriweather Post Pavilion is the ninth studio album from Animal Collective, recorded with Ben Allen in Oxford, Mississippi. After listening to this record, however, it’s clear that Animal Collective have transcended the everyday realities of numbers, locations and people and arrived at a spectacular, unique place.
Animal Collective have made a universal record that makes the same beautiful sense on headphones by day, or soundtracking the small hours of the morning / night, or, you suspect, stretched out in a field on your back. Whether a state of mind, or a rest stop somewhere along the way, Merriweather Post Pavilion magnificently redefines your sense of direction.
Located in different continents, Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin (who is absent from this record) and Geologist, having operated in their unique way since their inception, have now arrived at a point where their inner logic makes perfect sense on the wide screen. Throughout Merriweather Post Pavilion, Panda Bear and Avey Tare sing in a newfound clarity, enraptured by the possibilities of the sound they’re making. Immediate and blissful, the songs ring out with questions and declarations. Who needs choruses when you can find your own answers in the kaleidoscopic exhilaration of these tracks.
Animal Collective are now something of a talismanic force among both their peers and the bands their working methods have influenced. Listening to Merriweather Post Pavilion you’ll hear echoes of everything they’ve recorded to date, especially the mesmeric and melodic repetition of Panda Bear’s last solo opus Person Pitch. The whoops and hollers that have previously held together the sublime, chaotic urgency of their earlier work, now signal the calm sense of euphoria and wonder that ripples through this wide eyed record. As if, by stopping for a moment, the band have caught up with themselves, looked around, smiled, and cut seriously loose.
From the opening echoes and drum roll of In The Flowers to the crazy-happy rhythms of the closing Brother Sport, Merriweather Post Pavilion is, in every sense, a classic album. This record feels like a defining moment for Animal Collective, their generation and these times. Linear, wild and beautiful it’s the sound of a band waiting, with arms open wide, to tell you about what they’ve found. And it’s something pretty special.
Black Dice is an explosive, radical, and viciously unique rock & roll band. Based out of Brooklyn, NY, the trio is fiercely independent, doggedly disciplined, and uncompromisingly DIY in approach. Brothers Eric and Bjorn Copeland and Aaron Warren have spent over a decade recording, touring, and unleashing their bizarre musical doctrine on audiences the world over. Starting as a loud, chaotic mix of early-eighties-inspired thrash and harsh noise, the band has transformed itself with each record and every era of performance. The music currently retains elements of noise and proto-industrial experimentation, while at the same time organically suggesting minimal, electronic, hip-hop, and psychedelic ideas as well as those of punk, tropicalia, and dub. Consistent to every era and all of their material is an irreverent, aggressive, hand-made aesthetic that simultaneously revels in and reconfigures the whole of popular culture.
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. The shift in focus introduced a new gentle and tuneful quality to the intense, brash music.
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 bouncing forth.
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.
"Dirty Projectors multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Angel Deradoorian made her solo debut as Deradoorian in 2009. Based in Brooklyn, NY, she joined the Dirty Projectors lineup in time for the tour in support of the album Rise Above (2007), the band's critically acclaimed chamber pop remake of Black Flag's classic full-length debut. She sang and played bass on the tour. While she hadn't been involved with the recording of any Dirty Projectors releases to date, Deradoorian was prominently featured on the band's full-length follow-up effort, Bitte Orca (2009), including as a vocalist on the album's lead single, "Stillness Is the Move." While fans were anxiously awaiting the official release of Bitte Orca, Deradoorian made her solo debut with Mind Raft (2009), a five-track EP released on Lovepump United Records. She was only 22 years old at the time, and was already something of an indie rock sensation thanks in part to her association with the Dirty Projectors, one of the hottest indie rock bands of the moment." - Jason Birchmeier, AllMusicGuide