black midi: Your Brain Through a Cheese Grater

Until yesterday, the group black midi had never crossed my radar. Let me assure you it has now. Easy listening this in not. black midi play brilliant, challenging music. As the old adverts used to say, like Camel filters, they’re not for everyone.

However, if you love Frank Zappa, King Crimson, Snarky Puppy, Primus, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Captain Beefheart, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, and other similarly challenging sounds, ask your doctor if black midi is right for you.

I know too little to offer information, so here is their Wikipedia entry:

black nidi (stylised in all lowercase) are an English rock band from London, formed in 2017. The band consists of Geordie Greep (vocals, guitar), Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin (vocals, guitar), Cameron Picton (vocals, bass guitar, synths) and Morgan Simpson (drums). Their name is derived from the Japanese music genre black MIDI. Their sound has been described as experimental rock,[1] math rock,[2] noise rock[3] and post-punk.[4]

The band began on producer Dan Carey‘s record label Speedy Wunderground, through which they released their debut single “bmbmbm” in 2018. They released their debut studio album Schlagenheim, produced by Carey, on 21 June 2019, through Rough Trade Records. It received critical acclaim,[5] entered the top 50 of the UK Albums Chart, and was nominated for the 2019 Mercury Prize. An anthology album including several recorded jams and spoken word tracks, The Black Midi Anthology Vol. 1: Tales of Suspense and Revenge, was released on 5 June 2020 exclusively to Bandcamp. The band’s second studio album, Cavalcade, is due for release on 28 May 2021.

This video comes from KEXP.ORG​ presenting black midi performing live exclusively for KEXP. Session recorded at Soup Studios, London, on April 6, 2021.



00:00  John L
05:13  Dethroned
11:07  Sugar/Tzu
14:51  Hogwash and Balderdash
18:24  Slow


Collaborators were, in addition to black midi as themselves; Joe Bristow, trombone; Elias Jordan Atkinson, trumpet; Lewis Evans, alto sax; Kaidi Akinnibi, tenor sax, soprano sax; and Seth Evans, keyboards.

 Crew credits: Director: Marisa Gesualdi; DP: Rob Godfrey; Recording & Mixing Engineer: Max Goulding; and Recording Engineer: Giles Barrett.


This video for “Slow” premiered April 28!


And black midi have four tours scheduled for later this year: U.K. legs one and two, U.S., and Europe.



Their new album Cavalcade will be released May 28, with a concert the same evening at Hackney Church.


Here is the video for “John L.”

black midi



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