Home Events Recap: Black Milk in Detroit

Recap: Black Milk in Detroit


Black Milk’s 2-show run at El Club was nothing short of spectacular. Emcee’s Eli Sparkman caught the Sunday night show, check his recap below for a plethora of reasons to catch the Detroit legend’s next visit to his hometown. (Photos by Broccoli)

Duality Detroit:

Jazz Keyboardist Ian Fink, along with local legend Dez Andrés and drummer Marquis Johnson, brought their weekly Motor City Wine set to the El Club on Sunday night, and the result was as smooth and delicious as a $10 bottle of Tempranillo. One of many highlights was a new track called “New Dog,” as well as a few cuts from the Andres II album (Which Ian Fink said everyone needs to go and check out ASAP). Impressive solos were exchanged, perhaps most notably by the drummer, who just absolutely smashed things. Andrés’ giant white towel was in full effect; a lot of fluff metaphors could be written about the towel and the act of surrendering to the power of music, but overall the guy just works his ass off up there, and sweat is one of many results. Catch the towel and Ian Fink & company working hard all over, but for sure Wednesday Nights at MCW.

Phil Swish and Gulley:

Phil’s set was so dynamic. He seamlessly transitioned back and forth between singing and rapping, his voice carrying a set that was bursting with love and energy. At one point, looking through a packed room, Phil named 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 people in the front row that he was grateful to see. It was funny, the way he was able to merge his heaviest lyrics with some cracks about the shoulder swivels of an audience member, or the bleach blond “immersive cameraman”, or the samples that served as running inside-jokes with his DJ Lord Gulley (“You have survived!… but not for long”). Team Phil Swish is a good team to be on, and he should be checked out “on all platforms.”

Black Milk:

What a tight set, especially for one that was mostly improvised. Black Milk insisted on playing a range of fan requests, even after slamming out a selection of stellar tunes from his 2018 record Fever. The way Black Milk mixed drum production in with The Nat Turner Band was truly special. At times he felt like a conductor, beatboxing to each band member to explain the sound that he was looking for; the quality of those messages was a show in itself. At one point, he apologized for not playing more Detroit shows because he didn’t want to over-saturate his presence in the local show scene. As much as we’d all like to see him in the city more frequently, it’s hard to dog his strategy, because to have these two nights here was certainly an event to remember. Counting down the days to the next record release extravaganza, listening to Fever in the meantime… and also hitting MCW for that Tempranillo with Duality Detroit.


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