Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Unsigned Bands: Black Math (US) and Black Math (South Africa)

By Chris McGinty (AccordingToWhim.com)

The problem with this modern era is that since everybody has a band, and everybody is online (I exaggerate a little), there seem to be a lot of bands who come up with the same name. Today, we will talk about two of them.

Black Math (Chicago, Illinois)

I’ll start with the band I found first, back in late 2011. Black Math is a band from Chicago, and I’m not even too sure if they’re still around. When I found them, they had 1 single, 2 EPs, and 1 full album available to download, so I did. And I listened to them every night for an entire winter. I still listen to them a lot. Their website seemed abandoned, so they may have already been disbanded before I started listening to them. Now it looks like the website is gone.


Black Math has a sound that I’m part of the target audience for. It’s a low-fi, hint of new wave, alternative rock. This is why I listened to them so much. They were wedged right into one of my genres of choice.

This is their Last FM page:

This review has a Mediafire link to download their Counterfeit Unrealities (EP)


There is a lot available on You Tube. We’ll start with a live video they did for a video series on Chicago bands. I’ve listened to a number of the bands that were part of this series, and I might post about some of them another day. Then after the live video, I’ll link everything else I can find, in roughly the order of how much I enjoy the song (note that I enjoy them all a lot).

Black Math – Bottomless Sea

Black Math – Reckless Thoughts

Black Math – High Dive

Black Math – Part of Me

Black Math – Did He Get 2U1st

Black Math – Suck City

As a quick aside, I found pictures of them on Flickr that seemed to be part of a professional shoot, so I contacted the photographer to make sure it was ok to use a picture, since I wasn’t borrowing it from the band’s website. She was super cool, so I want to give her a quick link here.


Check out her blog on the website. She has a lot of great work on there. I particularly liked her photographs of India, linked below. Check out the nighttime shot on the water.


The Devils

Let me take a quick break from the unsigned bands, and point you in the direction of something major label, but underground, that I found out about soon after I started listening to Black Math. It’s the Duran Duran side project known as The Devils. You can tell what kind of listening mood I was in at the time. These were modern recordings of early Duran Duran songs (I mean previously unreleased early) when Stephen Duffy was the lead singer. He and Nick Rhodes got together to record the tracks using old demos as their sound map.

The Devils – Memory Palaces

The Devils – Hawks Do Not Share

The Devils – Big Store

The Devils – Dark Circles

Black Math (South Africa)

There is also a Black Math from South Africa. If I didn’t like them all that much, I would probably just ignore their existence and pretend that there is only one Black Math. But I think they’re quite good. There is a White Stripes song called “Black Math,” and as you hear this group, you’ll presume like I do, that that’s where they got their name.



Black Math – Scandinavian Serenade

Black Math – The Devil Will Eat You

There’s also a White Stripes cover on their You Tube.

And an interview with them here:

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