ni – Les insurgés de Romilly (2015)

There are definitely interesting things boiling around in the French math/noise scene of late. Here, bands like Le Singe Blanc, Poil, Ultrazook, Chromb, and Jack Dupon are taking aggressive, noisy music and making it fun by adding some theatrics, irony, deliberately exerting grotesqueness, often bringing music all the way from brutal to tropical and back.

Noise-prog-math stalwarts ni are certainly one of this clan. In their latest release, Les insurgés de Romilly (featuring gorgeous artwork by Jacques Deal), they reaffirm their identity as instru(mental) storytellers. Les insurgés de Romilly is brought forward by means of several tricks: edgy, off-kilter rhythms; unexpected motifs punched in at artist’s discretion; abrupt explosions and unannounced hypnotic drops; childish gibberish (see ‘Le Singe Blanc’) as well as throat-breaking screams, roaring guitars, crazed funk slapping, and all packed in a never-fatiguing and tastily post-produced piece of music. There’s an excess of sound, but it is surprisingly tight and clean; never cluttered, never (too) messy.

What can clearly be felt in bands like ni, and this wonderful wave of noisy French math rockers, is that, in contrast with the chaotic tendencies, these musicians know where everyone else is, they have everything is under control, their intention is clear, and they are mentally prepared. A band like ni proves that, in order to make mind-bending music, you need to master the rules to fuck them up.

File Under

Noise rock, math rock, instrumental, dark, progressive, experimental

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