You know those times when you ask someone what type of music they listen to and they give you the terrible answer of “I listen to a little bit of everything”? I hate those people and they are all lying. Well, it turns out that there is someone out there who actually does listen to a little bit of everything and he decided to put it all onto one album. His name is Gautier Serre and he is the mastermind behind Igorrr. Now, after a few thorough listens I have conceded to the fact that there is no version of me in any universe that has the mental capacity to not only understand the upcoming Igorrr album, Savage Sinusoid, but to then find the appropriate adjectives to describe it. Keep in mind, I was raised on an unhealthy dose of Zappa and Beefheart and was given my first Bungle album when I was in fourth grade, but I can say with absolute confidence this is the weirdest album I have ever heard. With that said, let’s start this descriptive train wreck of a review.
Serre released the first Igorrr album in 2006 and has slowly but surely grabbed the attention of anyone lucky enough to stumble across his unorthodox musical vision. Stylistically speaking the music incorporates electronic music, death and black metal, baroque, and European folk. In case that doesn’t have you intrigued you’ll hear slight western guitar licks, blast beats, powerful operatic vocals and 8-bit video game melodies before you’ve made it halfway through the album. What is especially impressive beyond just the multitudes of genres on the album is that they are all done well and with a clear grasp of each sub-genre. All of the styles and techniques used on the album if not delivered and utilized properly could come off as disingenuous and musically sterile. This is not the case with Igorrr, each sub-genre is represented with a clear understanding of how to best make use of it. Even more impressive still is that this album includes no samples. Serre surrounded himself with musicians capable of top quality performances across countless musical styles. Whether it be folky accordion sections, melancholic string melodies or metallic riffs, they are all delivered with competence and purpose.
All of this musical experimentation lays the groundwork for what brings this album to the next level, the vocals. The vocals are not highlighted on every track on the album but when they are they are tremendously expressive and moving. The screams are delivered with an urgency that triggers an inner panic that is only brought on by hearing another human in distress, the opera vocals are powerful and passionate, and Serre even recruited Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation, who is known for his inhuman vocal stylings, for the song “Cheval”. Serre describes the vocal style on the album as the “language of the heart” referencing the fact that he let each singer write the text and sing in their own language, leaving even him out of the literal meaning of the words and allowing for only emotional interpretation. The albums value doesn’t strictly come its oddity factor however. Structurally the songs flow naturally and build a cohesive atmosphere individually and for the album as a whole.
This album is ordered chaos at its finest. The usage of so many genres weaved seamlessly is refreshing and answers the question of what could music sound like in the future. Savage Sinusoid will certainly grab the attention of those not locked down by musical convention and stylistic segregation.
“Without deviation progress is not possible”
Recommended if you like:
-A caravan of excitable gypsy musicians who time traveled to the baroque era with an ipod full of Cattle Decapitation
-the sounds of the universe expanding whilst simultaneously imploding in on itself?
-The midnight fever dream of the Spotify employee who makes genre specific playlists
Written by Sean Cantor