Press blurb states of 'Savage Sinusoid', the new album from Igorrr: "those newly introduced will find that a smorgasbord of adjectives cannot adequately convey the invention, verve, passion, playfulness and genre-smashing glee he effuses at every turn." I must admit that I'm "newly introduced" to Igorrr's music with this album. I will also say that adjectives are rather useful in review writing, so I guess this is Metal Blade throwing down the gauntlet for journos to describe just what craziness is on offer here.
Musically speaking, over the years, I've been into what can only be categorized as "weird shit"... Unexpect; Solefald; Fantômas; Psyopus; Atrox; Sleeptime Gorilla Museum; et al... but Igorrr pushes the "weird shit" parameters into new levels of surreal sonic excreta. This is where baroque meets twisted electronica meets black metal meets gypsy folk meets... etc, etc. Imagine if Mike Patton orchestrated a jam session between Fleurety, Arcturus, Therion, Horse the Band, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Aphex Twin, Gogol Bordello... with some classical musicians thrown into the mix, playing passages inspired by Chopin, Mozart and Bach... plus some accordion-centric Hungarian folk elements. Can you imagine that? Yes? No? Either way, it's only part way to describing the aural dementia that characterises 'Savage Sinusoid'.
Gautier Serre is the man responsible for Igorrr, a French Mike Patton, if you will. I understand that Igorrr began life as an autonomous project, although has evolved over the years to become a much wider collective. In fact, 'Savage Sinusoid' features "more musicians than any of Igorrr's previous releases." I guess the wider the collaboration, the more Serre has been able to evolve and diversify. As a newcomer, I can't pass comment on any of his previous works, but 'Savage Sinusoid' is as random, diverse and batty as it gets. And Serre gives not one fuck: "I just want to make the music I love, without asking myself if it's gonna be too complex or too far from what people like." Such a sincere intent shines through. If it's all purely about the music he wants to make, regardless of whatever, then the album could be regarded as something of a sonic stream of consciousness... alas, it's a little too structured to apply any overt judgement of randomness. I will say this, though - if music, like any art, is about an outward expression of one's emotions, then, based on 'Savage Sinusoid', Serre's head would be a very peculiar place to be.
I'm sure I've used the phrase "sonic rollercoaster" to describe certain albums in the past but, here, the term emphatically applies. There are so many flavours, textures, and changing affective states... it's like being taken on an unpredictable, adrenaline-fuelled, emotional journey. And it's precisely the album's unpredictability (at least initially) that makes 'Savage Sinusoid' so exciting. It's random and diverse between songs, within songs, and within passages of diversity within the same song. While it isn't necessarily pushing the parameters of genre, Igorrr's music is a masterful exercise in how to amalgamate seemingly disparate styles into a sonically diverse heterogeneity that transcends expectations of possibility. In this sense, it's pushing the parameters of fusion rather than any single genre. And, as the album's unpredictability starts to become lost, more and more, with each new listen, as familiarity sets in... 'Savage Sinusoid' becomes a different beast, where previously perceived cacophony starts to reveal further poetic depths, and random, abrasive song structures actually become structurally more amenable.
Vocally, the album's a diverse bag, too. Some of the death growls sound like pure despair, right from the very beginning, like some kind of expurgation of negativity... self-catharsis, perhaps? Theatrical voices and female soprano singing also feature, as well as a guest spot from Cattle Decapitation's Travis Ryan on three tracks. And, aside from the compositions themselves, the album's a mammoth achievement production-wise, too. To mix such a diverse range of instruments, styles, and tonal diversification into a palatable (and challengingly unpalatable) whole is nothing short of remarkable, and definitely should not be taken for granted. Its analogue/digital duality has been reified to perfection. Electronica sits alongside other instruments in a perfectly realised fusion of both sonic euphony and cacophony.
In short, 'Savage Sinusoid' alternates between being bewildering, annoying, frustrating, astonishing, mesmerising, antagonising, exhilarating, delightful, moving, entertaining, charming, surprising and humorous. And it's all the better for it. I'm guessing it's Igorrr's intentions to evoke a mixed-emotion response, be it positive or negative. I adore art than can provoke such a variety of reactions. Bored of bland, banal regurgitation? Check out this fine beast of a record. It's quite the experience.
Review by Mark Holmes
16th June 2017
4) Opus Brain
5) Problème d'émotion
6) Spaghetti Forever
9) Va te foutre
11) Au Revoir
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Bored of bland, banal regurgitation? Check out this fine beast of a record. It's quite the experience."