Review Summary: "Almost nobody dances sober, unless they happen to be insane."
Like a character from H.P. Lovecraft's Tales of Horror, Emin Guliyev has finally reached enlightenment through madness, for Noir Kid
is nothing else than the frenzied vision of a true madman.
With 40+ releases listed in his Bandcamp page it would be highly inaccurate to place Noir Kid
as the -th release of Guliyev's career. His one-man studio project, Violet Cold, to which he has dedicated most of his lifetime, started out as a timid leap into ambient music with slight post-rock influences. It was 2014 and the album was simply called Lilu
. Everything released afterwards from his home studio in Baku (Azerbaijan) would expand his music to further horizons, from post rock to blackgaze, until reaching now the exorbitant heights of Noir Kid
It's fair to say that Guliyev's latest recording maintains the heavy blackgaze sound of his past works but tracks like opener "Noir Kid" or "Synergy" suggest that the man's approach has changed drastically to accommodate seemingly impossible elements, more akin to the absurd behind a meme mash-up than to the constricted limitations of orthodox songwriting. Because Noir Kid
feels like being overexposed to a torrent of unimaginable network algorithms, like standing arms opened wide in front of a tsunami of data where colors and shape combine to adopt implausible aural soundscapes, only intelligible to the chosen few, the fearless audience.
It's not the first time Guliyev forces musical disparity to cohabit in his works, as it's not the first time his screams of agony and despair sound like the ecstatic elation that celebrates the purging of demons that haunt him every time he invests himself in a new Violet Cold recording. But this time he has gone even further.Noir Kid
is the only album I would expect to find a pop gem like "Euphoria" slowly mutating into a blackgaze epic with regional chants, or a track like "Synergy", a chipmunk post rock elegy that would somehow feel at home as the main theme of a Rocket League tournament. Guliyev's impressive growls and demential screaming dominate Noir Kid
for the most part, which will make those not too familiar with his music to opt out, as they can get very exhaustive the further one adventures into the album. The usual elements of Violet Cold are there: the blast beats, the break downs, the vertiginous guitar melodies weaving multicolored soundscapes, but this time with more synths, more samples, more screams, and just more of... everything.
The first and title track would be a good way of testing the waters for those just looking for a small and condensed dose. "Battle Unicorn", "Euphoria" and "Goodnight Sun" are the closest Guliyev gets to solidifying his cluster of EDM vocals and synths with black metal, whereas "Synergy" is the step beyond the line of mental sanity that will make ears bleed in disbelief.
Fans of Violet Cold are presented here with not a new album, but a new challenge, an invitation to endure a musical odyssey through the flayed mind of Emim Guliyev. Noir Kid
is an album that defiles the boundaries of the genre incurring in straight out blasphemy, all while toying with the risks of turning the concept into a joke that no one really, truly, understands. What is clear though, is that after exceptional releases like Anomie
, or the trilogy of albums that kept Guliyev occupied during 2018, Violet Cold has been given passage to a higher plane of existence, powered by the flamboyance of Noir Kid
, and forever in defiance.