“[black midi is] a group of four prodigiously talented musicians, applying their anarchic internet-age sensibility to their country’s long and proud tradition of intellectual noise-splattered punk.” — SPIN
“The UK’s most exhilarating new band.” —The Face
“black midi are less interested in proving themselves the future of indie rock than in imagining indie rock from the future” – Pitchfork
“It’s math-rock confronting a world of chaos.” – The New York Times
black midi announce their debut full-length, Schlagenheim, to be released on Friday 21 June viaRough Trade Records / Remote Control Records. Throughout, black midi — Georgie Greep(vocals/guitar), Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin (vocals/guitar), Cameron Picton (vocals/bass), and Morgan Simpson (drums) – have a dynamic energy, playing as a musical unit that’s constantly in a state of flux and development.
Schlagenheimwas recorded with Speedy Wunderground producer Dan Carey, who the band praises for his quick, unfussy approach. black midi laid down eight of the record’s nine tracks in just five days. The process was one of refining and rebuilding tracks around the initial structures. Five hour jams would sometimes yield a riff that then became a few bars of a song. As anyone who’s been lucky enough to catch black midi live over recent months will testify, black midi’s songs are slippery creatures.
When the group began, they had far more rules and regulations about what should and shouldn’t be done, which transformed into more of an “anything goes” policy of experimentation. At first, the music they were making was “an ambient, droning, noisy thing” as Greep describes it, mutating into something reminiscent of Swans or the Boredoms, before songs like ‘bmbmbm’ and ‘Speedway’ started to take shape.
The foursome comprising black midi are all 19 and 20 years of age and have backgrounds steeped in music. Simpson grew up in a church and took up the drums when he was two. Greep started out playing along to the likes of Black Sabbath on “the OG” Guitar Hero. They all met at the Brit School, and praise their education for giving them a vital grounding in musical collaboration. While studying, the group paid their way by teaching music and doing sessions for friends. Greep and Kwasniewski-Kelvin would busk in south-east London, on some days playing Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Purple Haze’ or blues and soul tracks, and on others playing their own music.
The band has promised that in a few years time, the music of black midi will be unrecognizable from how it is now. “It’s a bit bold, but you’ve got to set yourself challenges, there’s no point doing the same thing over and over again,” says Greep.
Since forming just over a year ago, black midi have quickly cemented their reputation as one of the hottest new underground bands, selling out live dates in the UK and New York and being named a standout act at this years SXSW and The Great Escape.