REVIEW: Black Merlin – Proto World EP (Berceuse Heroique BH036 – 2017)
In its beginnings, Berceuse Heroique (BH) looked like an adolescent rebel aimed at shocking everyone around. In addition to sowing disorder with harsh, nonconformist sounds the London label was notorious for provocative visuals that went beyond any taste. Still it feels quite the same when – after a break since Marco Bernardi’s hypnotic “The Dancing Clowns” – I’ve added two new BH releases to my collection.
The sleeve art of Black Merlin’s “Proto World” – a long EP with over 25 minutes of playtime – sets the tone for the opening title track, which is ghastly enough to imagine a tribe of bewailing skeletons messing around to the rhythm of hangman’s drumming. Akin to polyrhythmic noise lately practiced by the Diskant roster, the next track “Spirit House” runs on a Gamelan-like sequence and monotone bass, carrying slight ethereal feel despite of dark touch.
Insane ride continues on the flip where brain-drilling rhythm orgy “Vision Animal” is ideal for turning to beast on the floor. And then, exactly when you feel totally cooked, the cure comes in “Hope”, an ambient piece that may be still described as ‘dark’ but fragile sound core and the label art depicting a girl in white dress offer shelter after the havoc.
Now when “Proto World EP” might be the best BH release to date, the other news comes from the edits series when Mori Ra’s “The Brasserie Heroique Edits Part 3” is a worthy successor of the two previous instalments.