Loco Dice: 7 Dunham Place

Düsseldorf DJ and producer Loco Dice joins hands with producer Martin Buttrich for a well-lubricated set of richly atmospheric techno. After relocating to New York City , Dice, abetted by Buttrich, crafted a valentine to their newly-adopted Brooklyn home base that aims to impressionistically distill the soul of the city that never sleeps and its urban tribes into musical form. Though Dice's discography is extensive (he's recorded for Minus, Ovum, Four Twenty, and Cocoon, among others), 7 Dunham Place is formally his debut artist album, and he packs all manner of minute detail into its nine tracks.

The opening tracks set the bar high and illustrate the Loco Dice's sonically rich palette. First up is “Breakfast at Nina's,” which colours its buoyant house atmosphere with a lightly bumping groove, snappy bass, and sleepily soulful vocal, and “How Do I Know,” which peppers tight and bubbly rhythm programming with soulful interjections and handclaps. “Consequently Excentric and Delicate” starts out in Plastikman territory with a skeletal pulse and splintered synth effects, but gradually fleshes out its sound with a driving house groove. Despite the presence of a light-footed house pulse that glides atop a bed of vinyl crackle, “Black Truffles in the Snow” is a rather downtempo and melancholic affair, perhaps representative of feelings of isolation to which residents are prone when living in such a vast city. “Got Leaks in the Roof” similarly works a faintly Kraftwerk-styled melody into its brooding step. Dice also makes room for the Latin-house swing of “La Esquina” and the wiry, club-funk banger “Tight Laces.” If there's a low point, it's clearly “Pimp Jackson is Talkin' Now!!!”: having suffered through his obnoxious verbiage, we'd prefer he just be quiet, but it's the rare misstep on an otherwise strong collection. 7 Dunham Place ends up being neither genre-defying, genre-defining, nor genre-advancing but registers as solid nonetheless.

July 2008