Merlin is also an artist hailing from Aylmer Quebec, Canada. Sometimes confused with a UK rapper of the same name, Merlin debuted on the Canadian music scene with his first record in 1993: the noisy, hip-hop heavy A Noise Supreme. This was followed by 1995’s Merlin’s Arcade, the gritty industrial music classic Viddy Well Little Brother in 1997, and finally, his major label debut in 2001, Milkbar Stereo. Merlin was also the frontman for another project of his called Ma, which labeled itself as a power-pop group and released the full-length album Cool Chicks and Other Babes in 1996, along with a single to promote it, “Whine”. Whine was a parody of The Doughboys’ hit song, “Shine”.
Until Milkbar Stereo, all of Merlin’s releases were published on his independent record label, Channel 3 Records, and he also produced and released music by other local bands including Sugarbush, Stony and The Archer Micro Space Patrol. Cargo Records, the distributor for Merlin’s Channel 3 releases, eventually went out of business. Apparently this is when he decided to start shopping his demos to the major labels.
After signing a contract with MCA Universal, and meeting an executive that apparently loved his music, but was subsequently fired, the label’s apathetic marketing staff had no idea how promote or market Merlin’s new album. Yet they released it anyways. A music video was created for the track “Ultrasensitive”, but no single, second video, or anything else was created to help the album sell. In fact, Merlin was the one who set up and paid for his website of the time, Milkbarstereo.com. Merlin claims his demos sounded just as good as the tracks produced with outside help hired by MCA.
After the disaster that was Milkbar Stereo, Merlin reinvented himself with a new label, new moniker and new style of music. Leaving Channel 3 Records behind and starting up New Age Hardcore Recordings, he formed the “fucked up karaoke group” “NAM:LIVE!”. Merlin says the band hates labels, but people love them, so he came up with a new genre to classify NAM:LIVE! in: electro hip-hop. It’s fairly accurate, but the music put out by NAM:LIVE! shows influences from almost every genre imaginable. NAM:LIVE!’s first recording, a self-titled effort, was released as a soundtrack for an upcoming documentary on the music industry and the evil corporations behind them.
Currently, Merlin is working on a second NAM:LIVE! project called The Testament, which will be a 200 page book of art, photographs and literature, with an accompanying music CD. Ever the extrovert, Merlin dabbles heavily in photography, and sought to meet real women on the streets and photograph them for the book. Oh, and he also goes by the name of Bronxxx now – using his mother’s maiden name, Bronques, as his moniker.
From the official NAM:LIVE! website:
Bronxxx is just as happy lying in bed playing along to ‘Van Halen 1’ as he is documenting a photographic drive-by with a couple of curvaceous supervixens he just met in a club in Texas.
He’s a loner artist that meets 1000 people a year, and uses them as inspiration for his creations.
Bronxxx’s music sounds like a sex-crazed preacher trapped in an Atari 2600. His addictions are guitars, electro beats and pinup girls. His favorite game is ‘Truth or Dare’. He always picks ‘Dare’.
Merlin's Discography as of this writing:
Merlin - A Noise Supreme 1993
Merlin - A Noise Supreme Single 1993
Merlin - Selections from A Noise Supreme 1993
Merlin - A Noise Supreme/Pusher 12” Single 1993
Merlin - Merlin’s Arcade 1995
Merlin - Junk Religion Single 1995
Merlin - The Playboy Interview Single 1995
Ma - Cool Chicks and Other Babes 1996
Ma - Whine 1996
Merlin - Viddy Well, Little Brother 1997
Merlin - Milkbar Stereo 2001
NAM:LIVE! – Self-titled 2002
NAM:LIVE! - Church of NAM 12” 2004
NAM:LIVE! – The Testament book and CD