Review: The Council presents Black Merlin


Black Merlin of Boysnoize Records fame played a 2-hour vinyl set at The Council supported by Yadin. Somewhat of an enigma, Black Merlin is known for his use of interesting field recordings in his productions and he does not even have a Facebook page, using a Facebook group instead.


Yadin played a solid opening set and is certainly one of the more eclectic selectors of our sunny island, stringing a diverse range of tracks seamlessly. Black Merlin then stepped to the fore with his anticipated vinyl set. One of the limitations of touring when playing only vinyl is that you can carry only so many pieces with you. Do you go for variety and hedge your bet or put all your chickens in the same style? Black Merlin opted for the latter, playing a brand of slow, proto-techno. With throbbing 16th-note basslines, there was a Kraftwerk-esque layer to his entire set.

The slower tempo he played at also made for a different aural experience. Black Merlin showed that the energy level of a track does not necessarily come from the tempo. Besides, the slower pace also accentuated the details in tracks that usually get passed over at a faster speed. Konstantin Sibold’s “Mutter” was transformed into a tense, otherworldly track from the original trance influences. You know what the next note is but it seems to always take that fraction of a second longer than you expected before you hear it. Another plus of the slow tempo was the ability to transition into other genres without having to adjust the tempo. There were traces of house and hints of Italo-disco as the night proceeded.

With just a bag of vinyls, it seemed about right that Black Merlin’s set lasted only two hours. Yadin then closed the night out, continuing from where he left off. At one instance, he jumped from the trance-influenced techno of Philip Gorbachev to a remix of New Order’s “Blue Monday”. And there goes another night spent at The Council…


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