Black Dice – Miles Of Smiles

Black Dice’s latest release is more of an adventure in audio than what you would normally consider a ‘song’. Take ‘Miles Of Smiles’ as an example. It starts slowly with a pastoral bent, while chimes ring. Then there is a deep purring, or is it breathing, perhaps it is a low rumbling growl. These sounds are joined by a collection of half heard voices and, later, what seems to be halfway between a military tattoo and tribal drumming. An abrupt halt, a complete silence; the silence slowly filled by rattles and shakers that come in, one at a time. All rhythm is lost in that instance. Gradually, the pastoral sounds return. They are joined by a tambourine and woodblock which restore a beat of sorts. As this settles there is suddenly noise everywhere, a bizarre mix of notes and drums, reprising the tattoo of earlier. ‘Miles of Smiles’ ends with a pulsing electronic effect, gradually fading out.

Do you see what I mean when I say it is not a song as you’d normally envisage?

For the B-side, ‘Trip Dude Delay’, there are more experimental sounds. The track begins as a monotone spectrum loading type sound before a collection of vocal samples, arranged like monastic choir, lap over a sound that is nearly a church organ. Suddenly, a wave like crashing and deep rumbling becomes all consuming. The roaring wall of noise is broken every so often, and only momentarily, by a vaguely Hawaiian sounding lilt. Towards the end there is a gradual shift to a percussive ethnic beat composed of blips and sampled instruments.

Black Dice are certainly challenging, unusually satisfying and weirdly cool.

Label : dfa

Release Date : 5 April 2004

Website :


  • Miles Of Smiles
  • Trip Dude Delay

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