Roll The DiceThe New Black – SE
Peder Mannerfelt and Malcolm Pardon’s Roll The Dice project embodies the potential of electronic music as a medium for cinematic expression. This was already apparent on their self-titled debut back in 2010, but they’ve expanded on the visual scope of their music with each subsequent release. Fusing classical compositional heft with widescreen sound design and the motorik throb of kosmische music, Mannerfelt and Pardon’s collaborative albums land as cohesive start-to-finish pieces that carve out their narratives in canny blends of organic and electronic source material.
After their first album landed on U.S label Digitalis, Roll The Dice moved to Leaf as a natural home for their sonic storytelling. Both In Dust and Until Silence sport a certain folk tradition that lingers
behind the timeless pulse of arpeggiating analogue synth lines, orchestral sweeps and sustained piano notes. The themes behind the music are rarely spelt out, but rather hinted at through titles and imagery – leaving the individual’s imaginative and emotional response to the music to fill in the gaps.
In 2017 Roll The Dice released Born To Ruin on The New Black, a self-steered label to carry their latest work. Compared to the orchestral might of Until Silence, this new chapter found Mannerfel and Pardon turning to a rougher, more abstract sound palette. The keen sense of frostbitten harmony and evocative atmosphere remained, not to mention the balance of synthetic and natural sounds, but the textures and minimalist approaches were distinct, as has been the case with each Roll The Dice record compared to the last.
In the wake of Born To Ruin, the duo explored one-off compositions, revised versions and outtake with a cast of sympathetic collaborators. The contributors to the Assimilarity series have included Pär Grindvik, Alessandro Cortini, Glasser and Goran Kajfes – a highly respected and varied cast of characters that all share some similar, ineffable qualities with the unique liminal zone Roll The Dice occupies.
Beyond Roll The Dice, Mannerfelt and Pardon have solo careers that explore even broader realms of electronic and soundtrack music. Mannerfelt has achieved much in the realm of experimental
techno, as well as producing for high profile acts including Fever Ray. Pardon’s skills and experience lie in television and film composition – it’s not hard to see why their fusion of disciplines
creates such distinct, accomplished music. As their compact but impactful discography to date suggests, the future potential for the project is as open as what has come before.