black midi - anyone been tracking these?

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No releases, but they've just signed to Rough Trade and are playing round the UK at the minute. You could reference pere ubu and beefheart and all that typical lineage for weird guitar music, but they've hacked it, or something, with this blend if you're asking me.

https://youtu.be/TMn1UuEIVvA

ninthyoung, Saturday, 2 February 2019 16:40 (two years ago) link

I liked it. I hear a little Q and not U I hope they get the right producer to keep the live sound but also maybe finesse the vocals in there a little.

nicky lo-fi, Saturday, 2 February 2019 17:26 (two years ago) link

So this isn't for actual black midi stuff :-/

brimstead, Sunday, 3 February 2019 00:41 (two years ago) link

actual black midi stuff is quite fascinating and i feel like there's room for someone to do something very very cool with the idea (pushing midis to absurd limits) instead of just recreating meme songs etc. but idk that anyone actually has yet. i'm sure the textural possibilities of millions of midi notes could get even wilder if they started using more instruments than just the piano and perhaps combined it with real instrumentation too?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEhKbSrHDwM

there is this composition by Nicole Lizée which incorporates the style into a classical piece and i really like the results, i would love to hear something that has a similar set of textures in a more pop context

as far as the band black midi goes that live set is a lot more interesting to me than previous stuff i've heard from them, will look forward to whatever they're up to this year

ufo, Sunday, 3 February 2019 12:03 (two years ago) link

Now I hear some DNA or maybe Life Without Buildings.

I feel like this sort of musical template (no disrespect) really depends on the vocal performance.

nicky lo-fi, Monday, 4 February 2019 12:47 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Got this in an email touting local shows here in Philly:

A quick but noteworthy show addition — London’s BLACK MIDI are the hottest new band on planet earth, and although their music sits definitively in the indie/experimental/electronic world, they asked us if they could play with a death metal band in Philly, and we managed to secure our city’s reigning kinds. HORRENDOUS are now playing! Holy shit? Is this now the wildest, most insane bill of the year? We think yes.
This intrigued me. I already know about Horrendous but didn't know shit about Black Midi. A Google search made compounded my confusion.

I checked out some stuff... Reminds me if Primus and Death Grips collaborated on a Judgement Night redux ("Now, even more judgy!") based on the couple of songs I listened to. Pretty cool they wanted to play with a death metal band and they got a good one to do so.

I'll be at the show so I'll come back to provide a Hesher's view, probably!

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Saturday, 9 March 2019 00:50 (two years ago) link

def hear a Deerhoof influence which is great in my book

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 12 March 2019 21:17 (two years ago) link

also a new indie rock band with a great drummer godz be praised

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 12 March 2019 21:18 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

fucking awful

imago, Friday, 21 June 2019 18:25 (one year ago) link

^^ wrong

Like A Turrican (stevie), Friday, 21 June 2019 18:49 (one year ago) link

that video ufo posted above may be more your speed imago. if you dig stuff like James Ferraro that is.

frogbs, Friday, 21 June 2019 18:57 (one year ago) link

actual black midi is cool yes

this band is watered-down trendy jank with zero songwriting instinct and the worst vocals ever

imago, Friday, 21 June 2019 19:01 (one year ago) link

not at all sure what trendy jank means but this sounds pretty good to me 1 and a half of a go in. Bought it on a whim at the weekend and it's intriguing. The vocals don't irritate me - I can't quite place what he reminds me of - a subdued Ozzy? Dunno.

Is it the posh school they ended up at that annoys, imago, or the wall to wall press (inc. the Telegraph, I've seen). There were vv many copies in the Rough Trade shop. It's not true there aren't songs. Anyway, I'm gonna keep listening.

kraudive, Tuesday, 25 June 2019 20:18 (one year ago) link

ok the vocals are now totally different

kraudive, Tuesday, 25 June 2019 20:22 (one year ago) link

From an email chain with a friend who discovered them today

"The vocalist sounds at times like a mix of Johnny Rotten + Scott Thompson doing his Queen Elizabeth character in the Kids in the Hall. "

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 25 June 2019 20:39 (one year ago) link

sometimes get a Deerhoof vibe, they are so young through who knows if they even know Deerhoof

lol I already posted that

i was getting a kinda m.e.s. / ian curtis vibe from the singer, like arch and derisive about the whole enterprise of singing but nevertheless doing it, filling in the spaces with words, because he doesn't know what else to do there yet. which is fine i guess for a young band—would prefer some development there but they jam pretty hard so whatevs.

j., Tuesday, 25 June 2019 23:05 (one year ago) link

fucking awful

Then it's no 'moloch with strings', an epithet that may only be applied to a decadent, mildly Orientalist tone poem.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 09:33 (one year ago) link

this band would be at home on skin graft & I am into that vibe

she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 09:44 (one year ago) link

^^^^^^^

Like A Turrican (stevie), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 10:15 (one year ago) link

But also there's more going on and that's what impresses me most about the LP.

Like A Turrican (stevie), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 10:15 (one year ago) link

this is not particularly my thing, nor do I love the vocals, but at least they're bad vocals with obvious effort applied, instead of the standard indie arrangement of bad vocals with obviously zero effort applied

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 14:04 (one year ago) link

also, I don't get "derisive about the whole enterprise of singing" at all -- I could be wrong on this but the vocalist, to my ears, is clearly trained, and if anything might be too into the enterprise of singing, very showboaty about it

I think I'm talking myself into really liking this

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 14:07 (one year ago) link

xxxpost Skin Graft is a good call

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 14:12 (one year ago) link

xp haha katherine that's fair, i guess i'm put in mind of something like, and i don't mean to taint them with an association here, but like zappa where if they could have their way they'd just as well not have singing. but since they gotta have it, sure, maybe they could still try to do it.

ol GEORDIE GRUMPS or whatever his name is

j., Wednesday, 26 June 2019 14:57 (one year ago) link

the vocals give the whole thing a weird Gabriel-era Genesis vibe to me, very much *performance*, and lend it this unsettling, uneasy edge. And also like an evil David Byrne. But again, what I also like is it has a lot of gears to it - the switch from that first track, which is musically like some dirge-metal with tricksy Skin Graft rhythms and Mogwai weight, slips into that minimalist, Krautrock, tense second track is really inspired. And each track has Something Going On, it's not just another excursion in the same vein. I'm really impressed. And bummed that I manage to miss every single show they play, even when they're literally only several roads away.

Like A Turrican (stevie), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 15:25 (one year ago) link

hey this doesn't suck

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 15:29 (one year ago) link

Anyone have the ILM scoop on how they went from zero to super-hyped so quickly? Was it just Youtube virality, and that they're babies? They're a good band (helped hugely by an amazing drummer) but I can't help but think that if they were from Milwaukee nobody would be talking about them.

It's not really my thing, but I will probably go see their free campus show here next month, since I'm sure that if/when they come around after that it will be in a bigger and more expensive venue.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 16:52 (one year ago) link

being from England never hurt

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 17:35 (one year ago) link

does BRIT school do PR lessons?

kraudive, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 17:43 (one year ago) link

coming out of there practically IS pr now, i think?

j., Wednesday, 26 June 2019 17:47 (one year ago) link

BRIT school

Ohhhh, say no more

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 17:57 (one year ago) link

I wondered the same thing Jordan. They have 1700 ratings on RYM and are up to #4 on the 2019 chart, I have no idea how or why but it's kinda cool

frogbs, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 18:00 (one year ago) link

it's just the novelty factor....a good rock band from England 😎

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 19:41 (one year ago) link

Been listening to some of this on Youtube and why haven't This Heat been mentioned on this thread yet?

Orpheus Knutt (Tom D.), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 19:48 (one year ago) link

but I can't help but think that if they were from Milwaukee nobody would be talking about them

*cough* Dead Rider *cough* DEAD RIDER *cough*

chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 20:36 (one year ago) link

I haven't heard this band btw, just some headz I know drew some comparisons to Dead Rider...a band seemingly no one cares about, even though they are on DRAG CITY!

chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 20:38 (one year ago) link

And are the best currently extant "rock music" band, ok sorry please continue with this thread where English people all think they invented the wheel or whatevs

chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 20:38 (one year ago) link

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it all Americans praising this band itt? The one definitely English person who's posted said, and I quote, "fucking awful"?

Orpheus Knutt (Tom D.), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 20:47 (one year ago) link

I retract my previous statement and resubmit as:

"this thread for Americans acting like English people invented the wheel or whatevs"

chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 20:51 (one year ago) link

chris, are you a better judge of music than you are conversations?

Like A Turrican (stevie), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 20:51 (one year ago) link

tho i am totally going to check out dead rider now

Like A Turrican (stevie), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 20:53 (one year ago) link

chris, are you a better judge of music than you are conversations?

― Like A Turrican (stevie), Wednesday, June 26, 2019 3:51 PM (two minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yes

chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 20:54 (one year ago) link

I just listened to two Dead Rider songs and they're great, ty!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiOiqz6vItE

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 20:57 (one year ago) link

SEE!

chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 20:59 (one year ago) link

Take that! Englander pigdogs!

Orpheus Knutt (Tom D.), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 21:06 (one year ago) link

It's U.S. Maple not U.K. Maple

#thesecolorsdontrun

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 21:21 (one year ago) link

Brits Out of America #deepcut

chr1sb3singer, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 21:23 (one year ago) link

SEE!

i lay in bed corrected!

It's U.S. Maple not U.K. Maple

*applauds*

Like A Turrican (stevie), Thursday, 27 June 2019 08:41 (one year ago) link

(Ok nm that "both vocalists" bit; totally unfair to the bass player here...)

think the toledo mud hens but for twitter (Drugs A. Money), Saturday, 29 June 2019 11:33 (one year ago) link

Stabscotch are a brilliant example of this sort of thing done well

imago, Saturday, 29 June 2019 11:57 (one year ago) link

Noted.

pomenitul, Saturday, 29 June 2019 12:07 (one year ago) link

Good band, bad songwriting

nostormo, Saturday, 29 June 2019 13:58 (one year ago) link

A lot of the animism in the press for the band seems based in the prospect that they will eventually make better music, which is a funny way for justifying mediocre reviews with better scores. I don't remember Iceage - another explicitly youthful band, premiering - benefiting from this, but they also benefited from an average 2 minute track length and more cohesive idea of themselves.

57mg/20floz, Saturday, 29 June 2019 16:37 (one year ago) link

pretty good album; most of the reasons it’s bad stem from them being 15 year olds

flopson, Sunday, 30 June 2019 02:12 (one year ago) link

I have an antipathy as I get older to bands that inspire critics to turn reviews into works cited pages.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 2 July 2019 01:54 (one year ago) link

you could blame the critics and not the bands

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 2 July 2019 01:58 (one year ago) link

why on earth would I?

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 2 July 2019 02:00 (one year ago) link

lol Alfred you wouldn't like this band either way

rong

all the influences are in the right paragraphs but in the wrong order.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 2 July 2019 03:17 (one year ago) link

What do you mean?

two weeks pass...

I was going to say this is the acceptable face of LJ music but turns out he doesn't like them!

The vox are a delight btw

SHE MOVES WITH A PURPOSE!!

. (Michael B), Monday, 22 July 2019 00:05 (one year ago) link

I dunno I gave the Stabscotch album a try but there's a groove to these guys which I appreciate a lot more

. (Michael B), Monday, 22 July 2019 00:11 (one year ago) link

finally the This Heat + late nineties screamo mashup everyone was waiting for

Paul Ponzi, Monday, 22 July 2019 00:29 (one year ago) link

LJ's response to this is a near enough perfect illustration of why the industry can't just drop stuff like this on people from above. In that the people most likely to be receptive to music like this are also the least likely to be receptive to feeling marketed to. They need to feel at least in part like they've discovered stuff for themselves which certainly doesn't happen once you get a whiff of 'industry buzz band'.

I dunno, maybe there's a vast untapped resource of 18 year olds who are open to hearing compressed prog rock and don't care about all that stuff at all.

Matt DC, Monday, 22 July 2019 07:17 (one year ago) link

There's merit to that analysis and I'll confess my eyes rolled when I read they were from the Brit school, but I wasn't sure about them aesthetically or musically regardless of this - the name, firstly, which is wholesale ripped from another style of weird music without even approaching the sort of insane dedication and ultra-maximalism promised by it - but then their flippant-but-not-punkish demeanour, their seeming abhorrence of melody - even weird, atonal melody; it's just not a concern of theirs beyond the absolute rudiments - and above all the lack of any sense that there's much at stake aside from showing off. It's hard for me to summarise exactly why I find them offputting but it might be the refusal of beauty, the yowling prating kiddish soullessness of it all, the lack of vision. IDK, I just have a bad feeling about them, no matter how good some of their grooves are (and tt has been persuading me around to 'Near DT, MI' at least). This isn't to discount the possibility they'll do something good later, of course, but the hype feels way premature - they're proficient musicians but the compositions are just not there yet for me

btw here's an example of some comparable math freaks who get how to use melody

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJxd_Lu8VPA

imago, Monday, 22 July 2019 08:46 (one year ago) link

idk, plenty of melody in black midi to my ears. definitely more than other bands of their type imo

. (Michael B), Monday, 22 July 2019 09:46 (one year ago) link

Guess I'm gonna see these kids tonight. I would definitely have bailed (out of standard don't-wanna-leave-the-house inertia) but my friend is very excited.

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 23 July 2019 18:08 (one year ago) link

their drummer should be a treat

j., Tuesday, 23 July 2019 20:47 (one year ago) link

saw them last night, he's a force. room was packed and very enthusiastic.

by the light of the burning Citroën, Tuesday, 23 July 2019 21:02 (one year ago) link

Ok, so this was really great actually. They're definitely a rhythm band, but it hit really hard live, and they were very tight and controlled. The drummer is just ridiculously good (I tried to do my part by his fallen cymbal in the first song, he was looking around for assistance but no one ever notices that besides drummers). Lots of very enthusiastic kids at the show.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 24 July 2019 14:10 (one year ago) link

(Fwiw I just heard the KEXP performance; maybe the good ideas crowd out the bad once in the studio)

think the toledo mud hens but for twitter (Drugs A. Money), Thursday, 25 July 2019 09:11 (one year ago) link

Bands with great drummers need more kudos.

lefal junglist platton (wtev), Friday, 26 July 2019 22:22 (one year ago) link

They need more than just a great drummer though.

Arthur Lowe & Love (Tom D.), Friday, 26 July 2019 23:00 (one year ago) link

They need to drop the vocals for a start.

lefal junglist platton (wtev), Saturday, 27 July 2019 09:21 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

Played here in SF last night, pretty good I thought. Definitely already have a VERY busy and active fanbase, at least on a club level. (Also more varied than I would have guessed -- I was not the oldest person there by a long shot; I swear there was someone who was at least in her sixties getting into it right in front of me.)

Ned Raggett, Friday, 22 November 2019 17:06 (one year ago) link

A- from Christgau on his email newsletter

curmudgeon, Friday, 22 November 2019 20:19 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

So I've been playing the album by Black Country, New Road, a seven piece from London that apparently came up in the same scene as black midi. There is a lot of Slint and American Football worship going on, but I think I love it? Definitely not something I'd have expected from Ninja Tune in 2021.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 8 February 2021 20:10 (three months ago) link

knew they had to get brought up eventually and this is about the right place to do it

I fucking loathe them with every fibre of my being, also they have the worst lyrics I've ever heard

imago, Monday, 8 February 2021 21:15 (three months ago) link

https://genius.com/Black-country-new-road-algorithm-lyrics

imago, Monday, 8 February 2021 21:17 (three months ago) link

other than that, how was the play mrs. lincoln?

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 8 February 2021 21:18 (three months ago) link

Ha, I'll be honest, I had it on in the background while I worked and mostly had the lyrics tuned out. There seems to be nothing original about their approach at all, but the Slint / American Football sound they nail hits some nostalgic spot for me.

I don't know, clearly very divisive overall. They've got the the #2 album of the year over at RYM (I know, I know, but it's useful to see what others think) but it has a ton of 1-star reviews mixed in with all the 5-star ones.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 8 February 2021 21:19 (three months ago) link

Okay that particular song isn't on the album, I def would have caught those lyrics!

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 8 February 2021 21:20 (three months ago) link

Like, there's something superficially redolent of good stuff in the sound, but imo they have neither songwriting skill nor ensemble chemistry to render that guy's vocals and lyrics anything other than the main focus, and my god, my *god*

imago, Monday, 8 February 2021 21:27 (three months ago) link

Yeah, I was really hoping to like the BCNR album based on what I'd read. There's definitely some cool stuff going on instrumentally, and I feel like I could even appreciate the lyrics (which namecheck both black midi and Slint iirc) if they weren't sung like that, but man, those vocals...are not my kind of vocals.

Vaguely Threatening CAPTCHAs, Monday, 8 February 2021 22:00 (three months ago) link

this is like prog los campesinos

adam, Monday, 8 February 2021 23:51 (three months ago) link

dug what i've heard of this album, but wasn't paying close attention. imago's disapproval is a good sign that i'll probably wind up liking it.

tiwa-nty one savage (voodoo chili), Monday, 8 February 2021 23:52 (three months ago) link

Lol his vibe is kind of 'if Matty Healy was an unbearable post-rock charlatan'

imago, Tuesday, 9 February 2021 00:12 (three months ago) link

lol imago, the Pfork review made me think of you:

The 22-year-old wordsmith commands the studio while enunciating lyrics with a pompous-prefect quiver. Hearing their recordings for the first time, you might oscillate between irritation and intrigue. You might cringe, then cringe harder, almost enjoying it this time. It may feel like catching a sworn enemy at an open-mic night and realizing, aghast, that he is destined for brilliance.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 9 February 2021 14:46 (three months ago) link

He is 22, I would cut him some slack.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 11 February 2021 01:54 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

I'm glad they have a new album coming out, but...I think they may have accidentally become Primus.

https://bmblackmidi.bandcamp.com/album/cavalcade

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 23 March 2021 20:21 (one month ago) link

Finally heard Black Country, New Road and somehow the vocals were worse than I was expecting, fucking intolerable

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 23 March 2021 20:24 (one month ago) link

like it makes you question the entire concept of singing in music

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 23 March 2021 20:24 (one month ago) link

thank you

imago, Tuesday, 23 March 2021 20:27 (one month ago) link

new bm preview track considerably more promising than their debut. would go as far as to say it's great

imago, Tuesday, 23 March 2021 20:37 (one month ago) link

also just discovered Squid, who appear to be bad in similar ways to BCNR

imago, Tuesday, 23 March 2021 21:23 (one month ago) link

yeah they straight up sounds like primus

Bongo Jongus, Tuesday, 23 March 2021 21:31 (one month ago) link

Digging the new black midi! Getting some major Hausu Mountain vibes from that cover art.

I def can see bc,nr not being everyone's thing, but considering some of the shit that gets tons of ilm love the vox aren't THAT bad.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 23 March 2021 21:32 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

New single is kind of amazing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tJ4ISRpl-Q

imago, Wednesday, 28 April 2021 17:34 (one week ago) link


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