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George Thompson is the man behind the mysterious Black Merlin project if you didn't know; mystique somewhat vaporised. Here he is for his first EP on Mannequin records, and it's a three-track thumper. Bringing the Noir to techno and the voodoo to the dance-floor once again, some manic bass-lines with unrepentant drones and pummelling kick-drums enter the fray, to slay. Great. 

12" £7.19 MNQ 124

12" on Mannequin.

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Oba Enka by Black Merlin
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8/10 Ant Staff review, 05 September 2018

Black Merlin deploys three rugged techno synapse sizzlers for Mannequin’s impeccable ‘Death of the Machines’ 12” series. The coast is clear, there’s not a soul around to whinge at me to turn down the volume so let’s give these tracks some proper f***ing welly.

First up is the snarling juggernaut behemoth that is ‘Oba Enka’ with its demented, jagged bassline and searing noise that’s like a dentist drill, drilling away at your mind cavity. It all falls apart midway for a breakdown and builds into a climax of pure dancefloor annihilation. Limbs will be flailing uncontrollably as dancers quiver and contort like Black Merlin’s evil puppets.

More up my street though is the even darker, more subtly menacing, throbbing and pulsating ‘DEF’. This is a very fine, druggy, intoxicating, psychotropic, hypnotic, mesmerising techno cut that at like 3:00 AM eternal in some grotty bunker rave with strobe and dry ice smoke, twisted out of your mind, will make you see angels and demons. No shit.

Over on the flipside he’s back in EBM infused techno mode on ‘Ham’ working a spiky, zig zagging bassline around stomping skeletal drums and bursts of claustrophobic sibilant noise that are like some enveloping, fibrous, venomous webs being spun from the speaker cones to tangle you up into a cocoon ready to be consumed. If you dig those two An-i records on Cititrax from a few years back you should check this EP out for sure. I’m totally having one for ‘DEF’ alone and the second side is a bit useful and all.



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