Album Review: IGORRR Savage Sinusoid
Where the hell does anyone even begin with Gautier Serre (or as you may know him, Igorrr)? The French artist began the project in 2006 with his debut Poisson Soluble. Now I’m sure there are a few of you who are already aware of his music. For those of you who don’t know him… then you are in for one of the most mind-blowing works of art. Igorrr acts as both a philosophy to music and sound, as it does coming off like a raging mind orgasm. In a world where so many of us constantly complain of the same old same old, or the lack of unique spin on art, Igorrr is the answer. Combining everything from trip hop, breakbeat, Balkan, classical, baroque, along with death and black metal, the music knows no limits. With the new album Savage Sinusoid (Metal Blade), Igorrr unleashes one of the most awe-inspiring works of chaos and technicality.
Savage Sinusoid is one of the farthest things from your run of the mill musical compositions. The instrumental technicality here serves as a means to evoke emotion and thought. Rapid time signature shifts, and erratic changes in sound style, somehow allow the music to flow consistently together. In a sense one could consider this “controlled chaos”, for Igorrr takes these wild elements, and looks to see how they can be formulated. Obviously the immense take away from the record is the instrumental component, but the vocals also serve a unique purpose. Primarily acting as sound to express emotion, they play off the instrumentals to add a layer of depth. This aids to the overall complexity of the music in what the listener can analyze. However, while Savage Sinusoid is a work of art that can be analyzed, it doesn’t require one to hold its hand. It can still just as much be enjoyed by cranking the volume all the way up, and dancing or moshing one’s ass off.
“Viande” opens on hectic screams as death metal churning drops in. Letting loose the verbal vomit, the song eventually shifts into a wavy electronic beat. The sound becomes mesmerizing in its wild nature, the underlining fuzz adding a sense of air to the down tuned monstrosity. “ieuD” is a jarring mix of harsh screams and haunting harpsichord. This isn’t a negative jarring, but establishes a sense of emotional dread and fear. Breakbeats and elegant opera singing appear in the midsection, to then the track dropping back into a downward spiral of drumming hell. “Houmous” begins with some accordion, following up with blast beats. Before the minute mark, the drums fly off in heavy sporadic fashion, to then introducing flute playing. These two sounds may appear on paper like water and oil, but when played by Serre, generate an atmospheric adrenaline rush. Sound wise the music creates a tunneling aura as the progression builds and rushes towards the end. Beautiful operatic singing makes its appearance again, before the track ends on a rooster squawk and video game like electronics.
When it comes to vocal work, Laurent Lunoir typically screams over his tracks (while also diving into some opera singing). Additional vocal contributor Laure Le Prunenec provides additional singing, adding an elegant element to the record. However, Savage Sinusoid includes one very special guest appearance on vocals, being none other than Cattle Decapitation’s Travis Ryan. Making his appearance in three tracks, Ryan growls and gurgles his way through relentless blast beats, savage brutality, and more accordion. His presence on “Apopathodiaphulatophobie” (holy shit that’s a mouth full), is perhaps the most “metal” track on the record. The first few seconds begin with some generic guitar notes, before tearing in the death metal riffs. Ryan gives off his iconic voice over blistering drums, as guitar work fires off in an industrial rage.
While it sounds playful, “Spaghetti Forever” starts with a beautiful acoustic guitar progression. This of course gives way to a funky electronic fuzz that washes over the listener. Then that component drops out for a brief moment of singing (mind you this all happens almost halfway into the song). “Problème d’émotion” is the one time in the album where a song is utterly gentle. Delicate piano keys with singing flow on as pops of electronic light are sprinkled through. “Va te foutre” is an anxiety ridden ride in its piano work. The tension is amped up further with the lack of vocals, as the keys and blast beats drone on, creating a sense frantic energy.
With so much going on in this record, one may fear that the songs become overwhelming to follow. Whereas the work of Igorrr is never meant to be simple or straight forward, these multiple styles of music never become overwhelming. This is in thanks to the composer himself, and his being able to tame chaos, even while it gives off its full power. Things get chaotic, out there, wondrous, and hellish, but all the material ever asks of the listener is to either think of what’s going on, or enjoy it. Igorrr is a project with no boundaries, and the personal belief of creating the art one wants to. In a world where we argue from the mainstream radio to the underground scene, Igorrr is a breath of fresh air. Savage Sinusoid isn’t just a breath of fresh air in musical technicality and emotion though, but an excellent reminder to just enjoy music. Within every second of Savage Sinusoid there is something to enjoy and embrace through magic and technology. In a world where so much music exists… Igorrr’s Savage Sinusoid is sincerely a profound work that explores the gift of art.