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The Listening Party #2: Igorrr

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The Listening Party aims to connect songwriters to their influences and speak to the inspired fan in all of us. As curator, I choose music for artists to discuss based upon what I feel has either been an influence or will facilitate an interesting discussion. In turn, I also ask them to provide music that has recently inspired them. In a perfect world, this would occur with libations and prolonged discussion. Improvise at your own will.

Today we talk with French baroquecore DJ Igorrr, whose authentic blend of classical, glitchy electronic and death/black metal is sure to either polarize or inspire. With such a wide range of influences, I felt he would make a wonderful subject for The Listening Party. Those unfamiliar with his résumé would be wise to first listen here and here.

— Aaron Maltz

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What were some of your earliest influences and how did they factor into your unique sound?

My early influences were bands like Sepultura, Pantera, Cannibal Corpse, and in parallel Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. I don’t know how they influenced my music exactly; I think it’s going by itself. These bands are a part of my musical background, and I have them on my mind!

With so many different elements comprising your music, how do you begin to write a song? Does it start with a piece of music you want to sample or from something you wrote?

It usually starts with a global idea. I mean, I know what feeling I want to get when it’s done, and then I start to build it in my mind. All the pieces should fit perfectly to my idea. It’s like a puzzle, you see the picture at the very beginning in your mind and you have to find or create the little pieces.

At what point do you know a song is finished?

It’s always hard to decide when the track is finished. Usually, when I change something and actually it was better before, I know it’s done. Then I try again, but if I still cannot make it better, it means that it’s kind of finished. But mainly, I feel that it’s done when the track sounds transparent to me. I mean, after listening to it a thousand times and regularly improving things, you know the track so much that each note and each noise becomes “normal” for you. Then, if it’s not touching you anymore, it means that the track took the shape of your brain and it fits perfectly.

Describe a typical working day for you.

Wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning, listen to black metal really loud with my headphones until 2 pm in the dark. Then have an orange juice and play some harpsichord until 6pm.
Compose and record from 7pm to midnight. Then sleep.

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Aaron’s Picks

Aphex Twin – “4”
This track is for me one of the best from Aphex Twin. I’m not so much into his “ambient” stuff, and I definitely prefer the melodic chaotic pieces like this one. And he often adds some interesting samples, like we don’t know from where it is and why it’s here but it sounds cool. On this track, we can find one at 1:33, something like “yeah”, it fits perfectly. Still really current for a track from 1996, that’s why Richard is an amazing composer.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VFIIiCWKtc

Aphex Twin – “4”

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Deathspell Omega – “Abscission”
Deathspell Omega, with Blut Aus Nord, that’s for me the two best French black metal bands. They both have really interesting melodies and tortured drums! I didn’t know that track you sent me, but still, we recognized them easily as they have a strong personality, really noticeable melodies and really rich drums, and that’s quite rare in the black metal scene to be different like they are.

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Deathspell Omega – “Abscission”

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Venetian Snares – “Szerencsétlen”
This track is one of the best from Aaron [Funk] I think. At least from his more known albums. I like this track. It’s strange that I didn’t know his music for a long time but after a few years of making my own and after discovering his stuff, I can say this guy is a great producer. He made a lot of really interesting things, and he is the biggest artist making this kind of music. I was playing with him last year, and more than making good music, he is a nice person.

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Venetian Snares – “Szerencsétlen”

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Maurice Ravel – String Quartet in F Major: 1. Allegro Moderato, Très Doux
I’m a big listener of classical music but there is one thing I don’t like, it’s classical or baroque music in a major key. This track sounds a bit like that to me, even there are some “contemporary” parts, and the major tonalities don’t express what I’m looking for in classical music. Maurice Ravel is a big and amazing composer, but this track is absolutely not his best in my opinion.

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Ravel – “Tres Doux”

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Igorr’s Picks

Domenico Scarlatti – Sonate en si mineur, Kk 87
This piece of baroque music is one of the several amazing tracks Domenico Scarlatti made. Simple and really effective, this composer, in my opinion, is much better than his father, Alessandro Scarlatti, and unfortunately less known than the big composers from the same period like Bach or Händel who are as talented as him.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f14kt01seCs

Scarlatti – “Sonate en si mineur, Kk 87″

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Cannibal Corpse – “Five Nails Through the Neck”
Cannibal Corpse is my main influence I think in death metal and this track, from the album Kill, is for me the best track from this album. Erik Rutan made the sound of this album, and it was their first release with such fat sound. The albums like The Bleeding, or Gallery of Suicide are in my opinion the two best albums from Cannibal Corpse, but I chose that track because I’m into it right now.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z7A-IqWjCY

Cannibal Corpse – “Five Nails Through the Neck”

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Virus – “Road”
Virus is an amazing band, not as known as they should be, it’s still quite underground music, but I listen to them quite often, and this track “Road” is simply their best for me.

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Virus – “Road”

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Beethoven – “Moonlight Sonata”
How to make the best track ever with only a few notes of piano, no effects, no big mastering and only a paper and a pen to compose. This track is the best example. Genius.

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Beethoven – “Moonlight Sonata”

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Meshuggah – “I”
Meshuggah is the band who has such a big personality that their name itself has become a genre. The EP I is the one track record which I really enjoy from the beginning to the end. These guys are really amazing and they are just the most interesting and smart “experimental” death metal band.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bkHLkmSQ14

Meshuggah – “I”

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