Mr Impossible Mr Impossible


Black Dice Black DiceMr Impossible

7 / 10

Initially, I didn’t know what to make of “Mr. Impossible”; the sixth studio album by Brooklyn experimentalists Black Dice, their first on Ribbon Music. In an attempt to sink my teeth into the release I hit play again and again in various environments, finally reaching the following conclusions: 1. Do not listen to “Mr. Impossible” the morning after the tequila fuelled night before. It will induce sickness. 2. “Mr Impossible” proves a suitable companion to a run along the abandoned railroad tracks of North London, but do not expect to emerge unscathed. 3. “Mr. Impossible” must – I repeat, must – be played on decent headphones / speakers at an unholy volume. In short: the exploratory nature of “Mr Impossible” invites a physical reaction.

Black Dice have always been sonic explorers. Over 15 years they have ventured into admirably disparate territories: from the thrash noise of their early 7”s to the (thoroughly) twisted pop of their Paw Tracks period, via some gloriously deafening ambient on Fat Cat/DFA. “Mr Impossible” is no exception. However, whilst on previous efforts you accompanied the band on the adventure – a tangible journey evoking a visceral response – here Black Dice present you with the sanitised documentation post-trip. For the listener, “Mr Impossible” often feels like an exercise in observation; row upon row of categorised sonic specimens that are undeniably interesting, but are emotionally unavailable.

Accordingly, the opening track – “Pinball Wizard” – sounds suitably otherworldly, like Martians marching to quantized Autechre and the distorted gurgles of their leader. Its driving beat might denote accessibility and a continuation of the relative pop revealed on “Repo”, but I would argue quite the opposite. Whilst on earlier releases, tension builds and you earn the beat alongside the band – here you are bombarded with constant, instant gratification. It’s cloying rather than insistent; pointedly claustrophobic and cocky in its resolve. Any satisfaction in arrival is lost if you bypass the journey.

There are, of course, some notable exceptions. Black Dice are masters of the hand-made aesthetic and when you hear the hands that made it “Mr Impossible” shines. “ The Jacker” for example offers more complex internal rhythms then its predecessors, but the grit around the edges lends some grip. A distant Animal-Collective-holler underscores tumbling beats and a fervent melodic ascension. It’s irreverent, it’s dirty, it’s a track to lose yourself within.

Similarly, “Spy Vs Spy” is something of an anomaly on the album, yet stands out as an obvious highlight. Emerging in a cloud of trip-hop swagger – all stuttering samples and grainy warmth – it soon fractures through the Black Dice filter. Probed by inquisitive stabs, the track is dissected before our ears.

A large part of the appeal of Black Dice’s shambolic exploration is our physical engagement with the journey: a bone-shaking, gut-wrenching, nerve-shattering trail. The album’s peaks demand a somatic response, yet too much of “Mr Impossible” denies our engagement; making it a curiosity, rather than a shot to the heart.

¿Te ha gustado este contenido?...

También te gustará

Alice Wingwall


Lo que los fotógrafos ciegos pueden enseñarnos sobre el sentido de la vista

¿Qué es ver y qué es lo que estás eligiendo ver?

leer más


Un estudio revela el lado oscuro de la serotonina, la “hormona de la felicidad”

¿Es peor el remedio que la enfermedad?

leer más
Papi Jiang


Papi Jiang: la nueva youtuber de moda es china y tiene muy mala leche

"Soy Papi Jiang, una mujer que combina belleza y talento".

leer más
Kevin Prince Boateng


Si esto merece una multa de 3.000 euros, quizá la ley sea mejorable

El Código Disciplinario fija una multa de 3.000 euros y una amonestación en estos casos

leer más


El hombre más viejo del mundo tiene 145 años, y lo único que quiere es morir

"La receta es la paciencia".

leer más
En China duermen en la oficina


El 'after work' en China se hace en literas... y dentro de la oficina

¡¿Dormir en la oficina?! ¿QUÉ?

leer más


Esta convincente teoría de 'Stranger Things' revela una gran sorpresa sobre Eleven

¿Dos caras de la misma moneda?

leer más


Beyoncé llevó las madres de 4 víctimas del abuso policial a los VMA

La artista vuelve a demostrar su compromiso con el movimiento Black Lives Matter.

leer más