PHNW Fest Preview: Black Air

I daresay there’s something almost jazzy lying underneath the sandpapery roughness of Black Air‘s work. The duo – made up of PHNW Fest co-organizer Gordon Ashworth and Sam McKinlay of The Rita – keeps to the principles of the harsh noise aesthetic but there’s a lightness of touch and the injection of early morning hungover sunlight into the tracks on their album Paris.

That slight swing (and I mean very slight) is a purposeful one as Black Air’s apparent aim with this album is to capture the absinthe-soaked libertine culture of Paris in the ’20s in both its most glorified form and revealing the dark seamy side that is all wandering hands and bad intentions. And as the cover art would suggest, there’s a deep sexuality to this music as well. It just happens to be some predilections that you wouldn’t speak about in mixed company.


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