Monolithe Noir - Rin (Capitane Records)

Monolithe Noir – Rin (Capitane Records)

Back in the 1990s, I worked with a lad called Martyn. He was (and indeed still is) a really nice guy who was really into his music. He embraced dance music as his most favoured genre. At the time, I was very much an ‘indie kid’, and things like Azzido Da Bass‘s ‘Dooms Night‘ made zero sense to me. To my ears, it just sounded like a noise. “It’s all in the way it builds though,” Martyn would say to me, as I scratched my head, trying to decipher any semblance of a tune. Fast forward to 2022 and his words have been stuck in my head for at least 25 years now, allowing me to fully appreciate a genre I previously had no time for.

The reason I’m telling you all this is because the new album from Monolithe Noir begins with ‘Balafenn‘, and I don’t want you, the reader/listener to make the same rookie errors that I did in looking too deeply for those melodies, a quarter of a century ago. You have to let it engulf you. Whereas in my youth, I was desperately searching for a singalong anthem somewhere, and thinking songs like this were just too repetitive with no destination, the truth is that it is about how the song makes its way toward said destination, whether it gets there or not. Let it all wash over you, and it all makes sense, leaving you with a warm glow. Or at least, that’s how it seems at first…

Sometimes, Rin is a sunlit journey through bright, beautiful meadows, and other times, it’s more akin to a late night drive through rainy towns and dark, lonely tunnels. I can only describe ‘Finvus‘ as something I imagine Temples might have sounded like if they decided to make their own Kid A, and the white noise of ‘Brik‘ is somehow peculiarly soothing, the Belgian band developing their sound to draw comparisons, in my mind at least, with an imagined industrial drone version of Sun Kil Moon once the vocal kicks in.

Rin is slightly unsettling and playfully abstract on tracks like ‘Barra Bouge‘, which is like the chainsmoking bastard cousin of Trio‘s ‘Da Da Da‘ displaying his psychotic tendencies.

In summation, I like this album, but I’m a little bit scared of it. It’s certainly intense and somehow that makes it strangely addictive. The musical version of Stockholm Syndrome, perhaps.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.