Black Midi are one of the most ambitious bands in the UK at the moment. From the polyrhythmic guitar playing to some of the song lengths there is no stopping them. Scarcely using social media, the band have made a name for themselves playing small venues and support slots around the world. Something that would quickly land them a record deal with Rough Trade. In this period London band Shame called them the “Best Band In London”. Whilst getting a lot of attention the band have only 3 singles released.
Debut single ‘BmBmBm’ samples a clip from reality TV show ‘Big Brother’. The clip is manipulated through various effects pedals while using a the sample against the guitar pickup. The deranged vocal delivery is hypnotic and spirals out into full combustion as the track reaches its climax. Their lyrics are often strange and hard to decipher but remain intriguing. It really adds to the mystery of this band who are most likely aliens from another planet.
Rough Trade debut ‘Speedway’ compares modern society to old society. The repetition of “honey, we won’t build to this code”, along with the listing in couplets feel like it has been churned out by a robot in a technology driven dystopian future. Working atonal jazz chords with futuristic electronic elements is something that shouldn’t work but does so well.
Their newest single ‘Crows Perch’ is their first song to be put on streaming services. The band have released a scarce amount of CD-R’s with the single on them taking listeners back to a time when physical medium meant more. This proved a success as they sold out in a single afternoon. The songs fragmentic lyrics give the impression that Burroughs cut up technique was used in recording. A very forward thinking fascinating piece.
The band get even more ambitious in their live performances. As they play ten minute epic ‘Ducter’ alongside other unreleased gems. The band are fantastic musicians. They make no comments between tracks and let the music speak for itself. Drummer, Morgan Simpson plays unpredictably (very reminiscent of an avant garde jazz drummer). Bassist, Cameron Picton plays prominent and often funky basslines. Guitarist, Matt Kelvin plays like he’s been trained for Captain Beefheart and lead vocalist Georgie Greep is like an animal that has been let out of captivation. Vocally resembling David Byrne from the Talking Heads.
Now being signed to Rough Trade the future holds hope. The experimental mix of post punk, math rock, avant garde jazz and electronic music proves they can’t be pigeonholed. This being a breath of fresh air. Their growing reputation and bold personalities are proof that their album will be one of the most interesting and anticipated releases of the year.