Contender For Album Of The Year – BLACK MIDI Release Zappa-esque Rock Opera With New LP ‘HELLFIRE’

Standout longplayers

16 July 2022

Band: BLACK MIDI
Who: Young terrifically engrossing
indie 4-piece from London.

The British sound-digging crusaders BLACK MIDI scored one of
last year’s best longplayers with Calvacade, confirming their musical
prog-jazz-rock inspired vision of debut album Schlagenheim.

And their third one, baptized HELLFIRE is out now
Order info here.


Frontman Geordie Greep (photo by Turn Up The Volume)

NME says: “Intense first-person narratives fuel a genre-gnarling thrill ride Building on the dynamic intensity of 2021’s ‘Cavalcade’, the UK trio’s third album further expands their intrepid musical universe. Call it avant-garde if you will (and it’s a certainty that some will find the album’s frequent gear-shifts too much to bear), but listening to ‘Hellfire’ delivers more musical thrills and about-turns per minute than few other records we’ve heard this year. Sounding more assured of their creative agility than ever before, ‘Hellfire’ is the work of a very special group of alchemists.” Score: 4/5.

Turn Up The Volume: Without any doubt the most exciting, the most inventive, the most mental band of the moment (again). This new LP resonates like a Zappa-esque rock circus.

A sundry potpourri of symphonic jazz-prog-rock twists and turns, building up/breaking down constructions, forth/ back and vertical/horizontal saltations with head-spinning orchestrations. Welcome to Black Midi‘s hell. Contender for album of 2022. Hands down.

Singles/clips: Sugar/Tzu – Eat Man Eat – Welcome To Hell

– SUGAR/TZU

– EAT MEN EAT –

– WELCOME TO HELL –

Stream full albun on Spotify

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BLACK MIDI: Facebook – Instagram

Bizarro Visions Of BLACK MIDI Visualized In Bizarro Clip For New Bizarro Single ‘EAT MEN EAT’

Eye-catching clips

19 June 2022


(artwork new LP)

Band: BLACK MIDI
Who: Young terrifically engrossing
indie 4-piece from London.

The British sound-digging crusaders BLACK MIDI scored one of
last year’s best longplayers with Calvacade, confirming their musical
prog-jazz-rock inspired vision of debut album Schlagenheim.

And their third one, baptized HELLFIRE is ready
for release on 15th July. Pre-order info here.


Frontman Geordie Greep

New single: EAT MEN EAT
The follow-up to ace lead single Welcome To Hell” features
Demi Garcia Sabat providing percussion, and more than 50 fan
recordings submitted and layered into the song’s conclusion.

Post-punk flamenceo.


(artwork new single)

Black Midi about the song/video clip: “The story starts in the desert with two men engaged in a desperate search for missing friends. Their quest leads them to a strange mining facility which, despite a dearth of natural resources in the area, opens its doors for even stranger hosts to welcome them. That evening, with zero sign of their friends, a massive feast is laid on by the mineʼs cantankerous Captain, who performs a long speech encouraging all to indulge as this is to be the workersʼ last night before returning to their families. With good reason for suspicion the protagonists feign gluttony and consume as little as humanly possible. Unfortunately, as they later find, even thatʼs not quite enough. Night falls, they hide and as the workers fall comatose the wardens, overseen by the Captain, make preparations to pump their poisoned stomachs. It turns out the purpose of the mine is to procure an excess of human stomach acid used in the production of a bastardized blood red wine, sold and loved in the region.

After the wider conspiracy is revealed and upon realizing their friends must be long gone, the partners decide they must destroy the facility. A spanner plugs the works however, as one of the men experiences mild effects of the poison and the production of acid in his stomach goes into overdrive. As his chest literally bubbles he says what may be his final goodbyes to his partner and the other man is left to do the heavy lifting alone.

He succeeds and as they flee, arm in arm, the demon Captain erupts from the burning embers and curses the two men to the hell of crippling acid reflux for the rest of their days. They see no reason to worry though, as theyʼre sure to return home hailed as heroes.”

Bizarro band, bizarro artwork, bizarro compositions, bizarro video’s.

BLACK MIDI is SPECIAL in any way!

BLACK MIDI: Instagram

BLACK MIDI Announce New Album ‘HELLFIRE’ For July Release – Hear First Taster ‘WELCOME TO HELL’

New striking strokes

10 May 2022

Band: BLACK MIDI
Who: Young terrifically engrossing
indie 4-piece from London.

The British sound-digging crusaders BLACK MIDI scored one of
last year’s best longplayers with Calvacade, confirming their musical
prog-jazz-rock inspired vision of debut album Schlagenheim.

And their third one, baptized HELLFIRE is ready
for release on 15th July. Pre-order info here.


Frontman Geordie Greep

Geordie Greep (vocalist, guitar) about the first single WELCOME TO HELL: “Almost everything I write is from a true thing, something I experienced and exaggerated and wrote down. I don’t believe in Hell, but all that old world folly is great for songs, I’ve always loved movies and anything else with a depiction of Hell. Dante’s Inferno. When Homer goes to Hell
in the Simpsons. There’s a robot Hell in Futurama. Isaac Bashevis Singer, a Jewish writer who portrays a Satan interfering in people’s lives. “

A screwy zig-zagging masterstroke it is.

Tune in

Europe/UK tour dates

US tour dates

BLACK MIDI: Facebook – Spotify

Turn Up The Volume’s 20 BEST ALBUMS Of 2021

1. ‘New Fragility’ by CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH (Brooklyn, NY)

Released: 12 February 2021

Ounsworth (mastermind): “The songs are politically motivated,
which is unusual for me. It’s about what I think we’re all experiencing
at the moment, certainly here in the United States, anyway, trying
to move forward amidst an almost cruel uncertainty.”

Turn Up The Volume: Riveting tunes, sharp-cutting reflections,
magical sparks, Ounsworth‘s feverish voice, and his glittery guitar
play make this LP the best one since the self-titled 2005 debut.
Bewitching all the way. My 2021 number one

Key single: New Fragility…

Stream/buy album here…


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2. SEEK SHELTER by ICEAGE (Denmark)

Released: 7 May 2021 – 5th LP

Turn Up The Volume: Finally, Iceage do what they were expected to do for a long
time. Creating a standout album that makes the hair in the back of your neck stand
up. Melodramatic with ardency, impassioned with vigour, emotional with grimness. Charismatic frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt leads the troops as never before.

Their fifth, their best.

Key single: Vendetta

Full album…


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3. ‘Calvacade’ by BLACK MIDI (UK)

Released: 26 May 2021 – their second album

Turn Up The Volume: From outlandish sonority – think Scott Walker – to
Zappa-esque adventurousness, from a ‘normal’ song (Marlene Dietrich) to
free jazz weirdness. The sonic search of this impressively inventive band is
both inscrutable and intriguing.

Cavalcade confirms the experimental brilliance of their debut LP.
Miles Davis going post-punk in the 21st Century.

Key single: John L

Full album…

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4. ‘Marriage’ by DEAP VALLY (Los Angeles)

Turn Up The Volume: The drop-dead gorgeous sisters in rock arms Lindsey Troy
and Julie Edwards celebrate their 10th year of producing high-powered turbulence.
Their bond is tighter than ever and their boogie-woogie more varied than ever.

Mind you, don’t expect a jazz record. Deap Vally are still about rocking ‘n rolling
while tackling their demons with vocal bravado and forthright ruminations.

Key single: Magic Medicine

Get married here…


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5. ‘Comfort To Me’ by AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS

Released: 10th September 2021

Turn Up The Volume:

Old skool punk ‘n’ roll? Absolutely. Any good? You betcha!

Amyl and her buddies made another blistering riff-manic-monster of
a hell fucking hell yeah record. Pogo madness is back. Sturm und drang
from start to finish. Holy Moly!

Key single: Hertz

Stream/buy album here…


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6. ‘CARNAGE’ by NICK CAVE & WARREN ELLIS (Australia)

Released: 25 February 2021

Turn Up The Volume: This black and white pearl is the work of
the romantic Cave crooner meeting the haunting Cave crooner. Idyllic
orchestrations, classical arrangements, and bad seed Warren Ellis
showing, once more, his refined grandeur.

A tantalizing tandem made in twilight heaven.

Key track: White Elephant

Stream album here…

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7. Full Spectrum by THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA (UK)

Released: 26 February 2021

Turn Up The Volume: Manimal and Samara are a poetallica sensation.
A new laser light at the end of a mythical and tenebrous tunnel.

Imagine Sylvia Plath fronting a mind-challenging, noise-exploring band.

Their debut album is a multi-faceted opus in sound and vision. Puzzling poetry
exploring life, death, birth, past, present, and future embedded in titanic thunder
and lighting symphonies going from perplexing metal to chill-out ambient.

Surreality becoming reality in a tormented world.

Key single: Psychopath’s Monologue

Stream ‘Full Spectrum’ here…

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8.’Infinity’ by GHOST PATTERNS (UK)

Released: 3 September 2021

Turn Up The Volume: The amplified haziness of Slowdive, the mystifying
soulfulness of Spacemen 3, the multi-layer-constructing skills of My Bloody
Valentine
.

Hallucinating soundscapes, synth shadowplays, and guitars dueling with
each other while tireless drums dauntlessly beat, and wailing voices wander
in an enigmatic fog of reverberation.

This is what the (sur)real world of Ghost Patterns sounds like.

Key track: House Of Lies…

Stream/buy album here…


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9. ‘Pressure Machine’ by THE KILLERS

Released: 13 August 2021

Turn Up The Volume: This time the bombastic rockers take another direction
to express their emotiveness. Moody, nostalgic, melancholically romantic with
frontman Brandon Flowers looking back at his teenage years in his hometown
Utah. Think Bruce Springsteen‘s sentimentality on his masterpiece Nebraska.

Overall an emotive and melodramatic
record without going over the top.

For some critics, it’s too mellow.
For me, its gripping mellowness
that works just fine.

Key track: Quiet Town

Dim the lights…

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10. ‘Mutator by ALAN VEGA (US)

Released: 23 April 2021

Liz Lamere (Vega’s widow) remembers: “Our primary purpose for going into the studio
was to experiment with sound, not to ‘make records. I was playing the machines with Alan manipulating sounds. I played riffs while Alan morphed the sounds being channeled through the machines.’

Turn Up The Volume: Most of the lost albums that eventually came/come to the
surface one day should have stayed lost forever. If they were good enough to be
released the moment they were recorded they would have never ended up in a
smelly cellar or, worst case, in a trash can.

So what about Alan Vega’s lost one? One: it feels special to have the legend back.
Two: the album seems to come from a very dark mind, from the obscure places
of Vega‘s soul, creating a nightmarish and Kafkaesque chill-out atmosphere for
a 30-minute David Lynch film-noir.

Talking about a great find!

Key track: Nike Soldier

Stream/buy full album here…


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11. ‘WE… ARE DOOMED’ by THE IRRATIONAL LIBRARY (The Netherlands)

Released: 15 January 2021

Turn Up The Volume: The rap and roll venom of Rage Against The Machine, the
fuck-you-hypocrites grimness of Black Flag, the punky saxophone of X-Ray-Spex,
the sharp poetic spit and sneer anarchy of Mark. E. Smith, the challenging spirit
of open-minded-and-ass-kicking-anti-establishment doom and gloom crusaders.

Sounds like 2021, like the end of the world as we know it.

Key single: And The Next Song

Stream album here…

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12. ‘For The First Time’ by BLACK ROAD, NEW ROAD (London)

Released: 5 February 2021 – debut LP

Turn Up The Volume says: Like Pavement going prog rock with the sound- exploring
state of mind of Mogwai. Jazzy and classical music textures make sure your curious mind
is focused all the time. And singer Isaac Wood‘s voice resonates freakishly identical to the chilling voice of American songwriter Conor Oberst from indie band Bright Eyes.

It’s not a happy record, but who needs a tsunami of cheesy pop tunes in these science-fiction-like times, anyway. I know it’s their first time, but these hungry noise crusaders
will stun us again in the future.

Believe the hype!

Key track: Science Fair

Full album…

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13. ‘SURVIVORS’ by ONISM E (San Antonio / NYC)

Released: 19th February 2021 – debut album

Turn Up The Volume wrote: Gusto, high-spiritedness, and anxiety are the
keywords here. This warm-blooded record is a heart-rending reflection of the
group’s state of 2021 mind. A galvanizing collection of cohesive poignant emo
songs influenced by the disturbing way our troubled world is handling human
issues, once-in-a-lifetime dramas, and the personal turmoil of frontwoman
Eline Chavez.

Her soul-stirring and powerful (Aretha Franklin / young Tina Turner) vox, the weeping
guitars, and the electrical intensity are at times overwhelming and heartbreaking. Impressive!

Key track: Stay


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Stream/buy album here…


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14. ‘Putain Royale’ by PINK ROOM (Belgium)

Released: 12 Match 2021

Turn Up The Volume: The essential message of this new powerhouse album is loud and clear: noise-challenging turbo Pink Room is here to stay! Their tsunami energy is beyond any decibel regulation. Again, loudmouth Bart Cocquyt leads the rip-roaring trio.

As I said before his vocal range is out-of-this-world. He easily could front a death metal band (Stay Black/Stay White) or a Nirvana reunion (Losing/Skin) or kick Ozzy Osbourne‘s ass (Hail Satan). Expect ear-shattering jackhammers, over-the-top frenzy, and clamorous lockdown paranoia.

Putain, putain, c’est vachement bien, nous sommes quand même tous des bohemiens.

Key track: Losing

Stream/buy here…

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15. ‘G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!’ by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR

Released: 2 April 2021

Turn Up The Volume: A exquisite soundtrack for the funeral of the present,
and at the same time for the re-birth of humankind in the future.

Somber, apocalyptic and longing.

The Canadian mavericks are looking
for a way out of all the (pandemic) mess
with a mesmerizing fervor. Remarkable.

Stream/buy album here…


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16. ‘Crawler’ by IDLES
17. ‘Blue Weekend’ by WOLF ALICE
18. ‘Better Than Life’ by GLASS SANDS
19. It’s Critical by SAVING JACKIE
20. ‘Vivre’ by ARNO

These Are TURN UP THE VOLUME’s 15 BEST ALBUMS Of 2021 (So Far)

1 July 2021

1. ‘Calvacade’ by BLACK MIDI (UK)

Released: 26 May 2021 – their second album

Turn Up The Volume: From outlandish sonority – think Scott Walker – to Zappa-esque adventurousness, from a ‘normal’ song (Marlene Dietrich) to free jazz weirdness. The sonic mind of this impressively inventive band is both inscrutable and intriguing. Cavalcade confirms the experimental brilliance of their debut LP. Miles Davis experimenting with guitars in the 21st Century.

Key Track: John L

Full album…

.
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2. ‘FULL SPECTRUM’ by THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA (Singapore/Italy)

Released: 26th February 2021 – debut LP

Turn Up The Volume: Manimal and Samara are a poetallica sensation. Imagine Sylvia
Plath
fronting a theatrical and mind-challenging psychedelic noise band. Their debut album is a multi-faceted opus in sound and vision. Compelling poetry embedded in a titanic thunder and lighting symphony going from perplexing metal to chill-out ambient. The final result is at times jaw-dropping, at times confusing, at times dumbfounding but always fascinating. When surreality becomes reality you know something is about to happen.

Key track: Psychopath’s Monologue


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Stream album here…

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3. Album: SEEK SHELTER by ICEAGE (Denmark)

Released: 7 May 2021 – 5th LP

Turn Up The Volume: Finally, Iceage do what they were expected to do for a long
time. Creating a standout album that makes the hair in the back of your neck stand
up. Melodramatic with ardency, impassioned with vigour, romantic with grimness. Charismatic frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt leads the troops as never before.
Their fifth, their best.

Key track: Vendetta

Full album…


.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

4. ‘SURVIVORS’ by ONISM E (San Antonio / NYC)

Released: 19th February 2021 – debut album

Turn Up The Volume wrote: Gusto, high-spiritedness, and anxiety are the
keywords here. This warm-blooded record is a heart-rending reflection of the
group’s state of 2021 mind. A galvanizing collection of cohesive poignant emo
songs influenced by the disturbing way our troubled world is handling human
issues, once-in-a-lifetime dramas, and the personal turmoil of frontwoman Chavez.
Her soul-stirring and powerful (Aretha Franklin / young Tina Turner) voice, weeping
guitars, and the electrical intensity are at times overwhelming and heartbreaking. Impressive!

Key track: Stay


.
Stream/buy album here…


.
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5. ‘i became birds’ by home is where (florida, us)

released: 5 march 2021 – debut album

turn up the volume: i’m damn sure this incredible punch-powered-punk-passion
turbo was here before, about 40 years ago, inspiring bored kids like black flag, shellac, melvins, jello biafra, and other anarchist snotnoses, to leave home, steal guitars and drums in order to have some wild fun while scaring bad people with their deafening racket. so here they are back again, inspiring young social media junkies to steal guitars and drums instead of watching their phones all day long. home is where it all starts when you have no money to rent a smelly rehearsal room to rock your heads off. so you move into your own basement and scream your poor lungs to pieces. listen up all you lost teenagers out there, play i became birds over and over again ’cause these hungry florida misfits can and will save your lives. home is where this fuck-and-punk-tastic record is made.

key track: sewn together from the membrane of the great sea cucumber


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Stream/buy here…


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6. ‘For The First Time’ by BLACK ROAD, NEW ROAD (London)

Released: 5 February 2021 – debut LP

Turn Up The Volume says: Like Pavement going prog rock with the sound- exploring
state of mind of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Jazzy and classical music textures make sure your curious mind is focused all the time. And singer Isaac Wood‘s voice resonates freakishly identical to the chilling voice of American songwriter Conor Oberst from indie band Bright Eyes. It’s not a happy record, but who needs cheesy pop tunes all the time in these science-fiction-like times, anyway. I know it’s their first time, but these hungry noise crusaders will stun us again and again in the future. Believe the hype.

Key track: Science Fair

Full album…


.
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7. ‘CARNAGE’ by NICK CAVE & WARREN ELLIS (Australia)

Released: 25 February 2021

Turn Up The Volume: This black and white pearl is a mix of the romantic crooner and
the haunting crooner. Growing with every spin. Compelling orchestrations, classical arrangements, with Ellis showing his musical skills once more. Can’t remember when Cave made an average album. Did he, actually? Okay, Carnage once again on my headphones.

Key track: White Elephant

Stream album here…

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8. ‘WE… ARE DOOMED’ by THE IRRATIONAL LIBRARY (The Netherlands)

Released: 15 January 2021

Turn Up The Volume: The rap and roll venom of Rage Against The Machine, the fuck-you-hypocrites grimness of Black Flag, the punky saxophone of X-Ray-Spex, the sharp poetic spit and sneer anarchy of Mark. E. Smith, the challenging spirit of open-minded-plainspoken-ass-kicking-anti-establishement doom and gloom crusaders. Sounds exactly like 2020/2021, like the end of the world as we know it, but also like an album that’s going to be on my earphones for a long time.”

Title track: We… Are Doomed

Stream album here…

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9. ‘G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!’ by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR (Canada)

Released: 2 April 2021 – 7th longplayer

Turn Up The Volume: A fitting soundtrack for a funeral. The funeral of humankind. The funeral of the planet we, ourselves, destroyed. Somber and apocalyptic. Repetitive doom-and-gloom psychedelia. Repetitive wall-of-guitar-scapes. Goosebumps all the way. But in the end, Godspeed thinks we will start all over again, a new beginning, a new future. Let’s hope so.

Stream/buy here…


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10. ‘Blue Weekend’ by WOLF ALICE (London)

Released: 4 June 2021 – third LP

Turn Up The Volume: Except for flaming rockers Smile and Play The Greatest Hits
the band takes a different direction with a stream of epic ballads with gospel-like
choirs (The Last Man On earth), emotional symphonies (How Can I Make It OK?) with
multi-layered goosebumps harmonies and orchestrated pop brilliance overall.

Key track: The Last Man On Earth

Full album…

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11. Mutator by ALAN VEGA

12. New Fragility by CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH

13. Putain Royale by PINK ROOM

14. As Days Get Dark by ARAB STRAP

15. Vivre by ARNO

Psycho Killers BLACK MIDI Cover TALKIG HEADS

7 June 2021

It’s only a week since London’s young, experimental noise explorers
BLACK MIDI unleashed their second album Calvacade. A jaw-dropping
weirdo one.

And they’re already back with a number of exclusive flexi discs
with covers of King Crimson, Captain Beefheart, Prince, Taylor Swift
and Talking Heads.

I go for their Psycho Killer cover. A classic that suits them like a glove…

The (still) flabbergasting original

BLACK MIDI: Facebook

BLACK MIDI Confirms Experimental Brilliance On Second Album ‘CAVALCADE’

29 May 2021

Band: BLACK MIDI
Who: Young tremendously compelling guitar-noise-explorers
from London scoring one of the best albums of 2019 with their
otherworldly debut Schlagenheim.

Album: CAVALCADE
Released: 28 May via Rough Trade
Order info: here

Info: Black Midi began writing music for a new album in late 2019, not long
after the release of their debut studio album, Schlagenheim, in June of that
year. The band chose to have a less improvisational approach to writing their
second studio album, in contrast to Schlagenheim which was crafted around
jam sessions. Prior to the recording sessions for the album, guitarist Matt
Kwasniewski-Kelvin
took a break from the band, citing a need to focus on
his mental health, he took part in the writing sessions for Cavalcade, however.

The Guardian says: “It’s a successful evolution: the maelstrom of moods stormed
across the LP is masterful, from Hogwash and Balderdash’s slapstick skronk-funk riffage…
To focus on whether it lives up to the hype is to miss what Cavalcade shows us: a freakish, feverish parade of our inconceivable world and all its extremities, half-measures be damned.”
Full review here. Score: 4/5

Turn Up The Volume: From outlandish sonority – think Scott Walker – to Zappa-esque adventurousness, from a ‘normal’ song (Marlene Dietrich to free jazz weirdness. The sonic mind of this impressively inventive band is both inscrutable and intriguing. Cavalcade confirms the experimental brilliance of their debut LP.

Singles: John L / Slow

– JOHN L –

– SLOW –

Full album…

BLACK MIDI: Facebook

(pictures by Turn Up The Volume! Brussels 2019)