Author Topic: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)  (Read 3094 times)

The Mollusk

  • guaranteed tremendous
black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« on: March 25, 2021, 05:47:08 PM »
The alternative/angular/abstract "they're HOW fucking young?!" wunderkids are back with a new album this spring and hooooooo I'm excited.

Here's the first single and accompanying video for John L, directed by Nina McNeely whose acclaimed choreography work includes Gaspar Noe's recent film "Climax". The tune's fucking great. I wasn't too sure of it at first but it builds and expands to great effect and I was quite enraptured by the whole thing by the end of it. Once again the band have managed to create something bold and dynamic with a wide range of influence. I'm hearing a lot of stuff in here - post-punk vibes of Protomartyr, Talking Heads, fused with mind-bending jazz-prog styles of stuff like King Crimson or even Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. They're really quite tremendous as a live act too and I can imagine this tune will absolutely spank once they can take to the stage again.

Sadly their guitarist Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin doesn't feature on the album as he's on indefinite leave due to mental health. They've recruited a sax player (who features heavily on the above track) and keyboardist for this one.

I'd been revisiting "Schlagenheim" last week before knowing this new album was due out, as I was concerned it might have been a flash in the pan and not as cohesive and brilliant as I'd felt it was back in 2019 (bad short term memory and issues with getting over-excited about things means that I do this a lot), but nope, it's still fucking excellent.

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2021, 06:48:16 PM »
this is my favourite thing that I've heard of theirs for sure and it doesn't remind me closely of anything as their earlier stuff did, which is great. yeah it could play simultaneously with late Dischord and 70s prog-fusion, but it isn't either of those things.

i'm still not a huge fan of the oblique lyric/vocal style; fine, not everyone wants to be sincere or obviously intelligent, but it distances me a little bit. will give the album a bash though.

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2021, 02:26:23 PM »
I love this. Very King Crimson ish. Did he always have a northern irish accent?

Dirty Boy

  • We awful awful crawl
Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2021, 06:10:38 PM »
Like everything this lot come out with, can't wait for the album. Dunno about King Crimson, but getting strong Pere Ubu vibes from the new stuff.

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2021, 06:28:18 PM »
They can't put a foot wrong, this lot. Amazing track - I've listened to it loads of times already.

danwho9

  • It's your regiooon!
Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2021, 05:18:37 PM »
Definitely looking forward. I take it we like them on here more than BC,NR?

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2021, 05:30:33 PM »
Sadly their guitarist Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin doesn't feature on the album as he's on indefinite leave due to mental health.

Is this him?

https://twitter.com/stuartdredge/status/1174773864183861248?s=19

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2021, 05:31:14 PM »
Definitely looking forward. I take it we like them on here more than BC,NR?

I think different people have different opinions.

Angrew Lloyg Wegger

  • cast your dance and spill my wee
  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • I promise to go under it
    • instagram ponce
Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2021, 07:55:19 PM »
This I’ve extremely my thing, can’t wait for the album

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2021, 05:54:46 PM »
Fucking hell, just listening to the debut for the first time. Bananas and brilliant, love it.

PlanktonSideburns

  • I did happy now img size last year but fine
Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2021, 06:02:45 PM »
glad theyve got a sax rather than a boring old guitar

any zu fans in?

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

The Mollusk

  • guaranteed tremendous
Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2021, 07:51:29 PM »
glad theyve got a sax rather than a boring old guitar

any zu fans in?

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

Of course! Saw them play the Lexington a couple years ago for the anniversary of “Carboniferous”, was absolutely fuckin immense. Stood so close to the band that the bassist kept nearly twatting me in the head with the top of his guitar.

The Mollusk

  • guaranteed tremendous
Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2021, 01:43:36 PM »
New song/video out:

SLOW

Fucking hell! This could be the sophomore album of all sophomore albums. Really good stuff, again very strong prog vibes and again building and building to create a huge sense of tension and release. My only criticism is that I'd like to hear something a bit more direct from them and maybe having two singles back to back which are stylistically very similar wasn't the best move. But hey, both songs are excellent, so I'm strapped in and ready for the album.

They've also done a KEXP session from home, which I'll be having a watch of later. Apparently it's great and I don't doubt that for a second:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyWH8CPwp7E

Ffffuckinnnnn YES new music.

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2021, 02:51:52 AM »
Oh man, i have such mixed feelings about this band. came away from their debut with the sense that this was a prodigiously talented group (holy fuck Morgan Simpson) but didn't really like any of the songs. particularly disliked the vocals and the lyrics which come across drearily repetitious rather than mantric.

These last two singles have really grabbed me, tho i still feel the songs hit cerebral more than emotional and the music videos, fucking cool though they are, don’t help with that. I still don’t like the vocals at all and wish they could find a way to make it match the intensity of the music. David Yow couldn't sing for shit but there's an emotional heft in what he did that, propped against what the rest of the Jesus Lizard were doing, summed and summed again above its parts. I really, really feel black midi have the potential to be something incredible, but at the moment I'm more excited than ecstatic.

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2021, 12:50:54 PM »
yeah, bit cerebral here too. that's not a bad thing in and of itself, you can have too many hearts on sleeves, but i didn't feel they conjured up a world other than 'smart guys with music lessons', also start to wonder what "Geordie Greep" is hiding, if you get me, hedge fund kid? idk, they're rubbing me up the wrong way, you don't get this far and sound like that without some machine behind you.

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2021, 01:00:45 PM »
Well they all went to BRIT School, which gave them way more of a ready-made network than 99.9% of other groups of their age; Morgan Simpson won 'Young Drummer Of The Year' in 2014, too. I guess the fact they got themselves a residency at The Windmill in Brixton also helped to raise their profile beyond what would be achievable for most young musicians venturing into avant-rock territory.

As for yer Greep, Check this out!

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2021, 01:05:48 PM »
Well they all went to BRIT School, which gave them way more of a ready-made network than 99.9% of other groups of their age; Morgan Simpson won 'Young Drummer Of The Year' in 2014, too. I guess the fact they got themselves a residency at The Windmill in Brixton also helped to raise their profile beyond what would be achievable for most young musicians venturing into avant-rock territory.

As for yer Greep, Check this out!

Interesting vid. Raises more questions, given that a 12 year old kid is playing several guitars individually worth more than all my entire set-up.

edit: oh wait 'Vintage Les Paul' not vintage Les Paul

possibly misplaced grudge against these, but 'Slow' did nothing more me.

The Mollusk

  • guaranteed tremendous
Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2021, 01:34:40 PM »
Not really arsed about where/who they get their talent from if the music bangs, personally. They’re a very well-oiled machine (and, to reiterate, they are a fantastic live band) and if it happens that this machine was built in part by other people behind the scenes I have no issue with that.

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2021, 01:42:44 PM »
I don't mean 'their music may be written by others', which I don't think it is, I think Greep is clearly an oddball raised on a diet of something weird, but I get a whiff of a word I don't often use but may be apt: privilege. Again, not always a problem, just feels like they're obscuring something about themselves. I'm a fan bands that are anchored in a particular geography and a scene, basically, and I don't get a sense of that.

Great live? I mean they say that about fellow cerebral prog fans Muse don't they.

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2021, 01:46:26 PM »
Great live? I mean they say that about fellow cerebral prog fans Muse don't they.

Muse is just a load of boring, one-dimensional, go-nowhere bluster and doesn't deserve to appear in the same sentence as Black Midi unless that sentence is 'Muse are rubbish and Black midi are ruddy ace'.

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2021, 01:52:40 PM »
As The Mollusk rightly says: '...if the music bangs...'

I think whatever privilege they've benefited from is what I outlined above: they're alumni of BRIT School, so must have been pretty well-connected from the off. I think it helps having a former 'Young Drummer of the Year' in the band, too, in terms of getting access to and attention from people who might not otherwise have given two hoots. I don't know, I've read a lot of interviews with them and their quick rise to fame on the back of some pretty off-kilter music seems to be very much a case of their being in the right place at the right time.

The Mollusk

  • guaranteed tremendous
Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2021, 02:21:07 PM »
Great live? I mean they say that about fellow cerebral prog fans Muse don't they.

Bit of a weird flex. Muse might make shite music but they play it well, I’d say the acclaim of being a great live band is fully earned. I saw them back when they were touring “Absolution” (I still maintain their early albums are pretty good, and this was nearly 20 years ago) and thought they were highly entertaining.

Anyway my point is I don’t think it’s fair to stretch the parameters of what constitutes a great live band around another band you clearly dislike, especially one with massive elaborate light/sound setups employed to justify their enormous stadium-filling international acclaim.

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2021, 02:28:12 PM »
'great live' is one of those low bar/minimum expectation things people say when the music hasn't really got any communicable features, along with 'very tight'.

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2021, 11:05:54 AM »
They've also done a KEXP session from home, which I'll be having a watch of later. Apparently it's great and I don't doubt that for a second:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyWH8CPwp7E

Have you watched this yet? I watched it twice last night and can honestly say it was among the most incredible and mesmerising live performances I've ever seen. Talk about a band excelling themselves. Colour me gobsmacked.

And Geordie appears to be unwittingly trolling sevendaughters by actually adopting the sartorial style of a villainous hedge fund manager from the 80s.

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2021, 12:22:45 PM »
I prefer it live but it REALLY brings home how Adrian Belew Crimson it all is.

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2021, 12:48:17 PM »
I agree, though Crimson have always left me a bit cold for some reason I can nae put my finger on.

The Mollusk

  • guaranteed tremendous
Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2021, 01:32:49 PM »
Most prog leaves me cold tbh, can’t be fucked with the pomposity of it. Sprawling concepts/musical storytelling and extended noodly solos do relatively nothing for me. I quite like a lot of individual bits of stuff like Crimson but I’ve never been one to sit down and absorb the whole thing with a bong and a beanbag and be all like “whoa”. I’m all for music having a message but there’s something about being walked to the door by a lot of prog that really turns me off. It’s incredibly hard to not think of the artist composing it like “this is brilliant, all of it, there’s no way anyone could see this as meandering or indulgent, it’ll blow their stupid minds and the world will thank me”.

There is some prog stuff which I can appreciate without this being too intrusive though, black midi's latest stuff deffo being in that category. I’d also add “De-Loused in the Comatorium” as a recent rediscovery which I’d say is a masterpiece of the genre.

Dunno where I’m going with this post tbh. A bit like most prog songs I’m sat here hoping it’ll end soon but I’m still writi

Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2021, 01:39:07 PM »
prog is a diverse and diffuse beast and while, like you, much of it leaves me cold, the best uses its exploration and expansion of form and musicianship to create a great mood. i hate all the nudge-nudge-wink-wink suite shite and the rock that utterly fails to rock, but the best stuff by Van Der Graaf and Yes and Magma just absolutely slays AND avoids noodly bullshit; it's great playing as an ensemble, which is entirely what I'm in the market for.

I can't imagine you'd hate this Nags: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRZ-1LVa4Fo


Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2021, 07:56:17 PM »
99% of prog to me is just "not only have we learned all the notes, we've actually also read lord of the rings". tho have just started listening to Magma and enjoying it loads (also like Red by King Crimson).

to be fair I do think black midi look incredible live, more than just technically proficient - I like how genuinely in to what they're doing they are.

and honestly they could shit hedge funds for all I care - although I can understand how that aspect could be really grating. i think when a band has that level of backing (or privilege) it can sometimes feel like they're being pushed on you, rather than you discovering them.

chveik

  • OPEN THE PUBS BOYS
Re: black midi - Cavalcade (May 2021)
« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2021, 08:41:09 PM »
Magma's the exception for me, the compositions are so good that they make you overlook the cheesy aspects

Tags: