Review : ni – Les Insurgés De Romilly

French instrumental math-rockers ni have already lobbed at us (across the Atlantic), two great, albeit short, releases: the two eponymous EPs of 2010 and 2012. This year, for the full release, the name ni just wasn’t enough. Les Insurgés De Romilly is a full-length album, clocking at around 40 minutes; 40 minutes of intense mathy prog-goodness!

ni is about intense, mathematical, challenging yet light-hearted music. With Les Insurgés De Romilly, they have achieved an otherworldly balance of dissonant harmonies, catchy odd-time grooves, and psychedelic, sometimes schizophrenic, passages. The voices, too, are in some sort of grey area that will please to mostly anyone who has ears: they act as instruments rather than like an usual singer. For example, they put a scream/growl to add to the intensity of the moment, or they shout staccato onomatopoeias, like a crazy choir, and sometimes just go plain mad.

This album is exhaustingly good: you put it on and could just dance to it, but on syncopated rhythms, which makes it probably the most math and yet most easy listen of the year so far.

Three thumbs up!