Sunday, August 2, 2009

2002 : 45 "Endless Happiness" by Black Dice

Beaches & Canyons retains its patina in a sonic memory for me. It came to me as a gift from a kind friend who thought I would enjoy it, as a replacement for a limited CD he lost. I would flip through its sides in my studio kind of listening, kind of not, normally preoccupied by something else. Fixing some drawings, making some zines, it wasn’t until the C side that I even really focused. "Endless Happiness" came on caught in a Ashra groove, looping its flute, bass drops and chimes in a familiar kosmiche music way that was entirely its own.

Black Dice were familiar to me through the waning days of hardcore in the late 1990s: they seemed to be doing something interesting in comparison to the pallid wash given the genre by emo's emergence, empty tough guy posturing, and boring lectures set to sound by ideologues. Black Dice began as an assault both sonically and physically in a live setting, and this did get carried over in the recorded media; Beaches and Canyons, however, offered little of that repetitive, stabbing, garbled intensity. Instead, it seemed at times more open and more broad, improvised, and sometimes, unfortunately, painfully derivative of a lot of other suitcase-gazers. Stepping back from their impetus and seeing the trail they left behind always made them way more interesting.

Make no mistake! Though I began my journey through this 2xLP disengaged, I was halted with "Endless Happiness," its ferocious drumming and blinking electronics; its swelling bass and melancholic melody overtaken by the sea's surf was perfectly hypnotic. I must have listened to this side alone about 10 times the first night I heard it. It finds itself in rotation continually. My attention toward that band hasn't been piqued since drummer Hisham Baroocha departed, but in my opinion this track is a great part of 2002.

Terence Hannum

Listen: Black Dice >> "Endless Happiness"


Matthew said...


I'd like to listen to this track but it appears that the link is broken. Any chance you could re-up?


jpb said...

Try now?

Matthew said...

Great. Thanks again.