AGORIA: Impermanence (InFiné)


Posted on Jan 20th 2011 01:08 am

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Agoria: Impermanence

InFiné 2011
10 Tracks. 59mins53secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP US: CD iTunes: DLD

Sébastien Devaud is one of the founding members of InFiné, a French imprint which has, since its conception back in 2006, revealed a number of new talents, from classical musicians-come-techno masters Francesco Tristano or Bachar Mar-Khalifé to the quirky electronica of Rone, Arandel and Clara Moto. But Devaud is above all a DJ, musician and producer who has been operating under under the Agoria banner for over ten years.

Following a string of EPs released between 1999 and 2002, Devaud published his first full-length album, Blossom, on PIAS in 2003. The album, and its follow up, The Green Armchair, released three years later, collected electro-infused techno and dance pieces together with occasional post-trip hop moments. In 2008, Devaud was commissioned to write the soundtrack for Olivier Van Hoofstadt’s feature length movie Go Fast, for which he refined his sound, stripping it down drastically to retain for the most part only the purest forms of Detroit techno. While the film was met with tepid critical and commercial success, the soundtrack proved rather more effective.

Just over two years on, Impermanence is found on very similar grounds, but Devaud has once again revised his formula, tightening up its grip on techno but opening up to its many atmospheric incarnations. The album actually kicks off in rather subdue fashion with the piano-led Kiss My Soul, featuring 20-year old Virginian singer Kid A, who, right from the start, steals the show with a vocal performance set somewhere between Bjork and Joanna Newsom. The pace picks up with Souless Dreamer, featuring Michigan-born, Berlin-based DJ Seth Troxler, whose polished semi-spoken delivery slots in perfectly with Devaud’s linear beat and smooth orchestration, but it is really with the massive Panta Rei that things really kick in. Layering warm electronic textures into a somewhat minimal chord progression, Devaud adds dubbed components throughout and turns the sound of a Stradivarius into a rave siren towards the end. A moment later, a resolutely sleazy Carl Craig can be heard whispering throughout Speechless, bringing back memories of Lil’ Louis’s French Kiss.

Echoing the work of quite a few InFiné regulars, Devaud supplements his basic electronic supplies with classical instruments, primarily piano, strings and trumpet. Grand Torino for instance grows into a rather exquisite piece, its main piano theme delicately underlined with orchestral brushes, which continue to rush into the wonderfully pop-infused Heart Beating, this album’s masterpiece, once again served by a show-stopping performance from Kid A. Later, the atmospheric Under The River provides the setting for an emotional trumpet motif, before the beat returns one last time on the rather haunting Libellules, propelled by soft piano loops and lush synthetic waves to bring this album to a close.

Impermanence clearly builds up on Agoria’s previous effort, but it is also very much infused with the spirit that seems to be fueling many of the InFiné releases these days. The album may have been recorded in Lyon, France, but it openly feeds on the rich heritage of Detroit’s techno scene and proves to be not just Agoria’s most consistent and accomplished record to date, but also one of the gems in the InFiné crown.


Agoria (MySpace) | InFiné
Amazon UK: CD | LP US: CD iTunes: DLD

Filed in Albums | Tags: ,
Comments (1)

One Response to “AGORIA: Impermanence (InFiné)”

  1. Aloyisuson 21 Jan 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Absolutely giddy about the album. I can’t wait!