Boomkat Product Review:
Peder Mannerfelt and soundtrack composer Malcolm Pardon reprise their acclaimed cinematic duo, Roll The Dice for a 4th album of moving, widescreen electro-acoustic sound design, ambient and rhythmic noise themes. Huge recommendation if you're into Peder's solo material or indeed Colin Stetson, The Haxan Cloak, John Carpenter, Deathprod, Willie Burns...
It's an intensely physical yet starkly spacious suite of stone cut electronics and frozen instrumental timbres that in the space of ten sensually riveting and often punishing tracks wrest a poignant, timely sense of emotion from oblique, shadowy structures and burning tonal textures.
Issued on the duo’s newly minted label, The New Black, and incorporating the vital input of Per ‘Ruskträsk’ Johansson’s beastly saxophone animations, the results pursue Roll The Dice’s two soundtrack contributions - for the Blanck Mass-curated score to Belgian horror movie The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears , and their score/end credits for The Last Panthers - into more visceral psychoacoustic space where there’s scant chance of escaping their gloaming tonal apparitions and tensile, bony percussions.
The set is less a mannered symphony, like Until Silence, and more an urgent, angry clash of duelling jazz noise cyborgs, rendering their sound in sharply angular, convulsive spasms of vacuum-packed wind, wood-on-skin, and black cloud palls whose semi-organic nature is belied by the dry punch of air-tight studio production. The results are more pummelling and angered than anyone has previously heard in their music, forging a much harder nosed, anxious aesthetic whose intent resonates with contemporary political pressures.
In between the muzzled grind and bark of album opener The Derailed and the depressive grip of it’s closing statement, Broken In Time, Mannerfelt and Pardon’s dissected instrumentation is tweaked to aching levels of tension, sometimes a sublime tension as with the wilting keys and weightless bass jabs that support Under The Arches and The Kronos Quartet-like pits of Coffin & Nails, or equally with a death-drive fury in the condensed Faust-meets-Tony Conrad impact of Cannonball, the nerve-biting burnout of Bright Lights, Dark Hearts, and yoked tight into Locked Hands’ breathless escalation of arid white noise and thorny pulse.
By straying from the lighter sensual relief conveyed in their earlier releases, Born To Ruin manifests Roll The Dice’s riskiest but arguably most successful move in ten years of producing together, one which pays off with deeply bittersweet appeal though intimate investment and focussed reception.