Somnambule - Writing About Music

Black Dice ~ Creature Comforts

Review no.1

Cloud Pleaser
Likeably off-kilter noise frolics as though a large moth has wormed its way into Black Dice’s computer and is fluttering madly right on the exact sectors of the hard drive which happen to contain the sketches of an indie guitar noodle.
Tree Tops
Two kids are playing alien wars with zap guns right outside your door. Naturally you’re suffering from a regal hangover, which makes their gleeful fun all the more annoying. You go outside to remonstrate. Turns out their zap guns are real and you’re reduced a puddle of human fat on your front door step. Bad darts.
Begins with signals from a Krautrock radio station broadcasting from the 1970s and stays that way for its total duration (one minute and thirteen seconds).
The water’s boiling, but it might just be tribal drums in the distance or an army of ants wearing big bovver boots running towards you – best check outside just in case. The parrot’s not happy either way. Someone’s pulled up in a car and you make a run for it because that big monster with the infinite number of legs (now you understand) and the hallitosis is looking rather hungry. Perhaps this is the sound of the Vogon attack ships Arthur Dent has to escape from in his nightgown.
Live Loop
Without a doubt that’s the sound of an ice cream with an almost drained battery mating with a Clanger.
Woozy Hawaian guitar is haunted by affectionate and equally woozy ghosts while a blunt pulse blunders haphazardly all over the place like a drunk determined to reach the end of the road without falling over (no chance).
Schwip Schwap
German bierkeller music on a quiet night. (Never mess with men in lederhosen.)
Night Flight
Honking geese having a good old chinwag on the pond in your local park whilst you’re asleep. Other birds join in. In fact it’s a bird party complete with hoedown (those webbed feet can really stomp). There’s a few disagreements, but aren’t there always? That’s why geese are always so bad-tempered – they never get enough sleep due to their badass partying instinct. Aye aye aye - you didn’t know this?

Review no.2

I like this cd. A lot.
It’s noisy and unkempt.
A lot of the tracks are beatless.
Beats, such are there are, are entirely untrustworthy. (A blessed relief after all the other beats with their metred regimentation.)
Each track consists of a variety of noises (big and blurty, tremulously high pitched, etc) interrupting or attacking or generally getting on with it whilst minding their own business.
Creature Comforts might just put a smile on the faces of Louis and Bebe Barron (and cause Leslie Nielsen to reach for his raygun).
The mixture of electric guitar with a wide range of different electronic sounds is a real pleasure.
There’s a point six minutes into Skeleton which recalls Pat Metheney’s guitar work on Steve Reich’s beautiful Electric Counterpoint. And that’s no bad thing at all. That it arrives from, and departs to, completely different destinations is entirely welcome.
It surely isn’t, but I’d swear the voice on Skeleton is a snatch of the little boy’s voice used on Fourtet’s No More Mosquitoes (from Pause).
The guitar work towards the end of Skeleton also reminds me of the elegiac playing of Robert Fripp on Fripp and Andy Summers’s I Advance Masked.
Creature Comforts is trippy music which has an internal logic and humour that should appeal both to acid phreaks and anti-drug campaigners alike. (Okay I lied about the anti-drug campaigners.)
Creature Comforts manages to sound genuinely original in an all too homogenised electronic world.
Colin Buttimer
May 2004
Published by Absorb