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Boomkat Product Review:
I can't say I was really expecting much when I crammed 'Hermaphrodite', the debut album from Black Dice's Eric Copeland into my laptop, but within minutes I was reconsidering my expectations. Coming from the Paw Tracks label which gave us the stunning Panda Bear album earlier this year, I knew I'd be in for something slightly left of centre to say the least, but to find an album so coherent and so enjoyable was totally unexpected. 'Hermaphrodite' is an abstract album for sure, but it's also detailed, complex and alive with imagination. A collection of surreal soundscapes, Kraut-rock experimentations and flirtations with noise, it sounds like a mish-mash of early Black Dice, Panda Bear, Popol Vuh and the Langley Schools Project, and for me this is just the ticket for a great record. Analogue synths fizz and bubble through pulsing, degraded beatscapes, the ghosts of a gamelan orchestra rears its ugly head and the skeletons of once beautiful songs are re-appropriated as noisy, trashy fuzzbox emissions. These are experimentations gone right, sketches that you just need to hear, and when thrown together on a full length album they make one of the most unashamedly upbeat experimental pleasures you'll find this year. A surprisingly good record, well worth checking out.