Schlagenheim

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Schlagenheim
Black Midi - Schlagenheim.png
Studio album by
Released21 June 2019
RecordedNovember 2018
StudioMr. Dan's Studio in London
Genre
Length43:10
LabelRough Trade
ProducerDan Carey
Singles from Schlagenheim
  1. "bmbmbm"
    Released: 8 June 2018
  2. "Speedway"
    Released: 31 January 2019
  3. "Ducter"
    Released: 20 June 2019

Schlagenheim is the debut studio album by English rock band Black Midi, released on 21 June 2019 through Rough Trade Records.[1] The band recorded the majority of the album over a five-day period with producer Dan Carey at his studio in South London.[1] Throughout its recording, the band made the conscious decision not to replicate their live set, embellishing their four-piece setup with synthesizers, sequencers, drum machines, banjos and organs, whilst the music was developed organically through extensive jamming sessions.

Schlagenheim received praise from music critics and was later nominated for the 2019 Mercury Prize.[2] It also peaked at number 43 on the UK Albums Chart.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.9/10[3]
Metacritic82/100[4]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[5]
Consequence of SoundB+[6]
Financial Times4/5 stars[7]
The Guardian3/5 stars[8]
Mojo4/5 stars[9]
NME4/5 stars[10]
Pitchfork8.2/10[11]
Q4/5 stars[12]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[13]
Uncut8/10[14]

At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, Schlagenheim received a score of 82, based on 20 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[4] Paul Glynn of the BBC claimed that the album "has been described by critics as everything from thrilling to frustrating."[15] Schlagenheim was praised for the technical proficiency of the musicianship, with Paste, Pitchfork, Tiny Mix Tapes and The Guardian singling out Simpson's drumming as especially good.[16][11][17]

In a positive review for Paste, Steven Edelstone says that Greep and Kwasniewski-Kelvin are "two of our most inventive contemporary guitarists" but that one of the few faults of Schlagenheim is that it doesn't "showcase Morgan Simpson’s frenzied drumming to its fullest extent." Edelstone praises Schlagenheim's unpredictability stating "Schlagenheim surprises at every turn, never settling into a predictable flow" later comparing it to Trout Mask Replica opining that like that album "it doesn’t always sound aurally pleasing, and it’s often tough to keep up, but it rewards those who try." Edelstone says that Schlagenheim is "one of the best albums [he had] ever heard" and "a masterpiece".[16]

In a mixed review for The Guardian, Alexis Petridis praises moments of technical virtuosity in which the band "lock into a groove that manages to be hypnotically repetitious while constantly shifting and changing" but also said of the band "at their least appealing, there’s no doubt that Black Midi can sound pretty pleased with themselves [...] it’s hard to avoid a sensation of po-faced seriousness, of music that exists largely in order to make its authors and fans feel superior". Petridis concludes "Schlagenheim is an imperfect, intriguing debut: behind the overheated prose lurks a young, self-conscious band who clearly aren’t as fully formed as the hype suggests [...] for all its flaws, Schlagenheim is promising enough to suggest that watching them develop could be fascinating."[8] Joshua Copperman of PopMatters says that although "on talent alone, Black Midi exceeds the hype" they are "technically proficient but emotionally shallow". Copperman cites "Of Schlagenheim" as an example of this stating that the track "bounces between atmospheric interludes and unhinged screeching but does both extremes no favors. There are so many ideas [...] that they cancel each other out." He calls Schlagenheim "both the most promising and exasperating record of 2019."[18]

Year-end rankings[edit]

Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
Afisha Daily (Russia) The Best Foreign Albums of 2019
19

Track listing[edit]

Schlagenheim – standard edition
No.TitleLength
1."953"5:21
2."Speedway"3:18
3."Reggae"3:29
4."Near DT, MI"2:20
5."Western"8:08
6."Of Schlagenheim"6:25
7."bmbmbm"4:57
8."Years Ago"2:35
9."Ducter"6:42
Total length:43:10
YouTube release bonus track
No.TitleLength
10."7-Eleven"4:54
Total length:48:04
Japanese bonus tracks
No.TitleLength
10."Talking Heads"3:05
11."Crow's Perch"4:04
Total length:50:19

Personnel[edit]

Black Midi

  • Geordie Greep – vocals (1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9), baritone guitar
  • Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin – vocals (8), guitar
  • Cameron Picton – vocals (2, 4), bass
  • Morgan Simpson – drums

Production

  • Dan Carey – production
  • Alexis Smith – engineering
  • Christian Wright – mastering
  • David Rudnick – artwork[1]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2019) Peak
position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[20] 113
Scottish Albums (OCC)[21] 40
UK Albums (OCC)[22] 43
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[23]
41

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Fernando, Christine (14 May 2019). "Black Midi Announce Debut Album Schlagenheim". Paste. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  2. ^ Bloom, Madison; Monroe, Jazz. "Mercury Prize 2019 Shortlist: The 1975, slowthai, Black Midi, More". Pitchfork. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Schlagenheim by Black Midi reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Schlagenheim by Black Midi Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  5. ^ Thomas, Fred. "Schlagenheim – Black Midi". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  6. ^ Lang, Sean (27 June 2019). "black midi Unleash Madness on the Experimental Schlagenheim". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  7. ^ Hunter-Tilney, Ludovic (21 June 2019). "Black Midi: Schlagenheim — impressive musical imagination". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  8. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis (20 June 2019). "Black Midi: Schlagenheim review – the weirdest buzz band of the year". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  9. ^ Myers, Ben (August 2019). "black midi: Schlagenheim". Mojo (309): 90.
  10. ^ Balram, Dhruva (20 June 2019). "Black Midi – 'Schlagenheim' review". NME. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  11. ^ a b Larson, Jeremy D. (25 June 2019). "black midi: Schlagenheim". Pitchfork. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  12. ^ Aroesti, Rachel (Summer 2019). "Black Midi: Schlagenheim". Q (400): 108.
  13. ^ Dolan, Jon (24 June 2019). "Black Midi Create Cathartic Experimental Rock on their Debut 'Schlagenheim'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  14. ^ Wray, Daniel Dylan (August 2019). "Black Midi: Schlagenheim". Uncut (267): 26.
  15. ^ Glynn, Paul (19 September 2019). "Black Midi: 'We'd rather be terrible than middle-of-the-road'". BBC. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  16. ^ a b Edelstone, Steven. "black midi: Schlagenheim". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  17. ^ "Music Review: black midi - Schlagenheim". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  18. ^ "Black Midi's 'Schlagenheim' Is Technically Proficient But Emotionally Shallow". PopMatters. 2019-06-24. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  19. ^ "Лучшие зарубежные альбомы 2019 года" [The Best Foreign Albums of 2019]. Afisha Daily. December 26, 2019.
  20. ^ "Ultratop.be – Black Midi – Schlagenheim" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  21. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  23. ^ "Independent Albums". Billboard. 6 July 2019. Retrieved 13 July 2019.