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Merlin Tonto @ The Prince Albert 03/03/2016

22/04/2016 By James McLarnon

Merlin-TontoWithout wanting to come over all gushing, we’re long term admirers of Merlin Tonto here. Their Tano Dragon mini album caught our attention on release in 2014, and it went on the chart highly in our favourite releases of that year. Subsequently, they stole the show at our Day One event around this time last year, the first in a series of awe-inspiring local live performances last year which saw them support acts as varied as Esben & The Witch and Follakzoid.

If Tano Dragon introduced their flair for merging the sounds of the contemporary dance floor with decidedly human sounding percussion and bass, their as yet unreleased EP, due out in early 2016, moves things forward significantly, recalling at various times Factory Floor, ESG and Leftfield. It’s all done in their idiosyncratic way, the music is never in a hurry to get anywhere, their restraint meaning the joy is as much in the journey as the destination.

On his bandcamp Inwards has one of the best artist descriptions we’ve ever come across, for us it’s pretty difficult to better, rendering this preview a little redundant – “ A childlike sound-world hides a slightly unnerving, psychedelic undertone, simultaneously pleasing restless feet and hazy minds.” On record he lives somewhere between Aphex Twin and Tangerine Dream but he’s a far more dangerous beast live.

Phil Bilsby’s VCOADSR project utilises a 12U Eurorack modular synth to create bass leaning techno and if it looks like it’s hard work up there, it’s probably because it is. We’re lucky to have him. Definitely one to get down early for.

Words: James McLarnon
Photos: Simon Brice

Merlin Tonto : Brighton Noise Presents....
with Inwards and VCOADSR - 8:00pm Thu 3rd Mar 2016 @ The Prince Albert
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