Despite a scarce digital presence and just one studio-recorded song, elusive math rock quartet Black Midi carved out a cult following in the late 2010s. A handful of video recordings of their live shows and the 2018 single "bmbmbmbm" proved sufficient means to convey their progressive take on guitar music, which is both studied and feral.
Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Geordie Greep, lead guitarist Matt Kelvin, bassist Cameron Picton, and drummer Morgan Simpson, the Croydon four-piece formed after graduating from the performing arts institution Brit School in 2017. In contrast to the more mainstream acts the school had previously produced -- including Amy Winehouse and the Kooks -- Black Midi produced angular, experimental post-punk. Forming part of a South London scene alongside acts like Shame, Goat Girl, and HMLTD, the newly minted band became regulars at Brixton's favorite new-band haunt the Windmill. Unlike their peers, Black Midi maintained a mysterious air by conducting hardly any interviews and largely shunning social media. Yet, they soon gathered media notices via their intense live shows, and in 2018 the band performed a live session for NTS at Flesh & Bone Studios in Hackney. Later that year they released their debut single via producer Dan Carey's (Bat for Lashes, Kate Tempest) Speedy Wunderground label. "bmbmbmbm" displays the jittery rhythms, repetitive, harshly grating guitars, and the delirious yowl of their frontman that characterizes Black Midi's sound and set them apart from their contemporaries.