So you haven’t yet crossed paths with Igorrr‘s prior works (Halleluja or Nostril)? Well then, where to begin! As far as a bit of background goes, Igorrr is the solo project of French artist Gautier Serre, and his objet d’art encompasses everything ranging from classical interludes, short bursts of melody, hardcore beats, hulking metal riffs, submersive growls, sub-basses, absurd samples and sudden breaks to piercing mellifluous operatics that meld together to bring you memorable flashes of disjointed, harsh musicality with quirky song titles like a “Lullaby For a Fat Jellyfish” and “Unpleasant Sonata.” I’m not even going to try and hide my fangirlism here, when I heard that Igorrr had a new EP on the horizon I even went as far as contacting Ad Noiseam Records in the hopes of snapping up an early listen. Sadly, it was to no avail as I had to reign in every last scrap of patience to wait for the actual release date to get my copy. Now I have it, does Maigre live up to my expectations? My breathless;y emphatic answer is… yes.
Maigre opens up with the aptly titled sizzler – “Barbecue.” It’s a rare and tasty piece of meat, and as with the barbecue cooking method, the track sizzles gently as if placed over a low flame, cooking through in an unhurried fashion. After a short twirling, waltzing classical intro, things get weirder and very much darker with the stretched out combination of Ruby My Dear‘s rapidly-firing rhythms with Igorrr‘s multi-instrumental madness. The further I wandered down this path of madness, the thought that kept scratching at my mind was that a madman was slowly twisting the tuning dial on an old AM/FM radio, thereby creating the sickest distortions of everyday normality. Around the mid point, songbird Laure Le Prunenec breaks out in vibrant operatics broken up briefly by the wretchings of .Laurent Lunoir (both vocalists being familiar to listeners of Igorrr‘s live work and the gothic doom of Öxxö Xööx). The show escalates, with everything thrown at you simultaneously, forcing you to sort through and make sense of it all. This shouldn’t work and certainly shouldn’t sound musical and yet, it does.
As a whole, Maigre holds some similarity to Aaron Funk’s Venetian Snares project (My Love Is A Bulldozer – another notable 2014 release you may have missed). It’s becomes clear that Igorrr and Ruby My Dear used careful consideration and maturity in mixing the sample contributions, planting them where they make the vocal contributions seem more jarring and memorable (“Figue Folle”) and where they intrude most noticeably in the choppy breakcore noise, aggression and odd shifts between meloncholy to insanity (“Cuisse”). Female operatics are the stiff backbone to Maigre and it’s “Biquette” that proves the richest song on the album, despite the deliberate distortion the music meistros apply. The track shows the true heights Laure can reach and it’s only when the last guitar solo comes to a torturous, bloody end that you can let go of the breath you’ve been unconsciously holding onto.
As this is merely an EP, the six tracks encapsulated within Maigre are a great precurser of what’s still to come from Igorrr and Ruby My Dear, two prominent entities in the breakcore industry, and contrary to what the album title suggests, Maigre is in no way thin or emaciated. This is an essential addition to both artists respective discographies. Check this out if you missed it.
Tracks to check: “Biquette,” “Figue folle” and “Barbecue”