If you’ve followed George Thompson, AKA Black Merlin, over the last couple of years, you’ll have noticed his recent releases appear hug a distinct stylistic path throughout – adhering to the same sonic palette for its duration, a Black Merlin record in 2018 typically feels like a fully-formed concept. This has proven the case on both 13-track gamelan-inspired explorations for Island of the Gods and shorter-form excursions into industrial-tinged techno and tribal alchemy on labels like Pinkman and Berceuse Heroique alike. Noi, the impending debut for Italian label She Lost Kontrol, keeps true to this formula.
Austere rhythmic structures reminiscent of mid-’80s electronic experimentation in the traditions of industrial and EBM propel these tracks forward, but it’s the swirling drones of noise and electrified, overdriven bass synth which remain front-and-centre for the most part – even the exception, ‘Noi 2’, channels the same unnerving energy as its counterparts. Abrasive and unfettered, opening cut ‘Noi 1’ places a nervously arpeggiating bassline amongst squalls of white noise and vocals cloaked in feedback and distortion to the point that they’re indecipherable. Turbulent dancefloor dynamics for unflinching souls.
Noi is out August 31st on She Lost Kontrol – pre-order direct from the label.