"Kokomo" by Black Dice
Measuring Black Dice by its full-length output can be misleading: The noise outfit has released over a dozen singles, splits, and EPs—yet only three albums—in the last ten years. Load Blown, a collection of the group's most recent EPs, traces an enchanting arc: Black Dice's mutation from proto-industrial assault to prickly ambience was codified with 2002's Beaches & Canyons, and Load continues the expedition into signal molestation, rubbery loops, and slurred hypnosis. But the disc is refreshingly user-friendly, akin to labelmate Panda Bear smeared against glass and stripped of all pop finery and familiarity. The whimsy and wonder are comparable, though, and the gulping sway of "Manoman" and "Toka Toka" are as warm and inviting as abstraction gets.