Release Date: Sep 16, 2011
Record label: Leaf Spain
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Club/Dance
In Dust marks the second album from Roll the Dice, a Stockholm-based duo featuring TV and film composer Malcolm Pardon and Peder Mannerfelt, best known as Fever Ray cohort The Subliminal Kid (although the only thing the two acts seem to have in common is a drum sound – the echoey, artificial beat from Fever Ray's Coconut is also featured here on fourth track Maelstrom). As the sinister LS Lowry-esque artwork and the grimy, earthy title indicate, it's clear that the album's an attempt to create a soundtrack of wage slave ennui and, from the point two minutes into opener Iron Bridge where the bass kicks in onwards, it's a fairly relentless experience. It may seem like the simplest method to achieve this would be to go for all-out industrial assault, but other than a few brief traces here and there (and the album's press release pointing out their shared fondness with Factory Floor for analogue synths) the genre's trappings are mostly absent.
Vangelis has a lot to answer for. It’s not, however, how he prolonged the career of seagull-voiced Yes frontman Jon Anderson through their chart-harassing Jon and Vangelis collaboration of the early Eighties – that misdeed is balanced out by his role in unleashing the mighty Demis Roussos upon the world. No, Vangelis’s main, if unintentional sin, is the way in which his soundtrack for Blade Runner welded so perfectly to Ridley Scott’s futuristic visions that pulsing synth instrumentals are now forever tied to dark skyscrapers, to neon overload, to the listener racing through a city in perpetual motion, driven by intent and dogged by paranoia as both pursuer and pursued.
Malcolm Pardon—one half of Swedish duo Roll The Dice—has a background in film composition. I discovered this with little surprise sometime after first hearing In Dust. The pair's sophomore album sounds as much like a score as anything else. Of course, the words "film score" can mean any number of things depending on the movie.
At its best In Dust sounds neither antique nor cutting edge, but timeless. Chris Power 2011 As displayed on their recent Live in Gothenburg EP, Roll the Dice can be a ferocious proposition in concert. Harnessing the often unpredictable power of analogue synthesisers, bolstered with organ and piano, their long, layered instrumentals tend to build to a peak of intensity before teetering and collapsing.