Brighton’s Merlin Tonto look set to go stratospheric in 2016
Brighton’s Merlin Tonto make futuristic music with a retro twist. Imagine Holy Fuck writing a twenty minute pop song, while Vangelis producers and orchestrates everything from his framework of synths. Their songs bustle with sci-fi motifs and lo-fi indie prog attitude, culminating in a sound that bustles and pulsates along while glitchy blips and hypnotic loops fire around you until its exquisite outro.
While 2014’s EP Tono Dragon showcases not only their musical prowess, but their skill at composition, it’s their live sets where they really shine. Filling tightly packed rooms with droney bass, cascading twinkling synths and hypnotic drumming that not only put ardent sound technicians through their paces, but win over crowds of strangers.
2016 looks set to be a vintage year for Merlin Tonto as they’re releasing a new EP and the prospect of more live shows is all too tantalising. Lead track Time Pilot see them getting into more abstract territory. Throughout its seven minutes translucent synths and haunting vocals float above hard hitting beats and possibly some of their heaviest diversive basslines to date. Three quarters of the way through Time Pilot, the groove takes hold and you’re stuck on the ride through re-entry to a smooth landing. This is definitely one band that are worth checking out again and again.