Review Summary: When post-modernism goes just too damn far
Post-modernism is quite an interesting social force. With globalization and multiculturalism people can chat with and define themselves by bits and pieces of culture from all over the great wide globe. The music scene may very well be the greatest hit of its kind, artists are now freer than ever to dabble in instrumentation and melodies estranged from all corners of the earth. It is somewhere at the end of the entrails where Igorrr has dragged out every aspect one could manage to fit in one compact cd, where Hallelujah stands as an ambitious but inconsistent record.
Igorrr is an eclectic artist to say at the very least, for the last few years the man behind the moniker Gautier Serre has been producing some of the most strange and straight up bizarre music to grace the music scene. Production and studio engineering are adamant passions for the French artist and they keep him well busy. Also being the producer and guitarist of death metal band WHOURKR in addition to the Igorrr project has allowed this artist to test out and experiment with all the bells and whistles of the production game. Via Igorrr, Gautier is able to refine and push the boundaries of his abilities with each release.
At heart Hallelujah is a break-beat record, featuring some very crunchy, pounding synths and glitchy unpredictable drum patterns that flutter about the screeching synths in a beautiful sort of abrasive eloquence. Neither element is overly impressive but done to a standard rather it is the pompous, flourishing additional guests and instrumentation is where this record truly shines as a piece of unrelenting ambition. Operatic vocals, tremolo picked black metal riffs, death metal riffage, saxophone, flute, folk music, you name it and it is probably here. Melding all of these ideas together of course sounds absolutely absurd and that is because it kind of is, but such a project is in the right hands. It is easy to make the contrast between crunchy synths and black metal howls a complete trainwreck but somehow Serre alongside his ever growing plethora of production techniques manages to make the record sound fairly consistent which is the greatest feat this album has to offer.
The working movements flow into other using subtleties, such as tip toeing tempos into just right the pitch allowing the transition between dance party and fog shrouded, gothic castles to become something of a shrug worthy affair. Where on previous releases the transitions were much more random, there is a definite effort here to create not only a cluster*** hodgepodge but also an actual listening experience. The atmosphere is kept pretty consistently dark and crunchy throughout the record. What helps quite a bit with consistency is that no matter how out of control the situation is, there is always the basic break beat passage which this record will find itself returning to again and again as the underlying structure used to build into any of the various ideas. Although the additional instrumentation is always diverse and fresh, the songwriting isn’t nearly as stimulating but it is a worthy trade-off for a more consistent listen.
Igorrr has a lot of ideas buzzing around in his head and is constantly growing as an artist. In many cases Igorrr displays a lack of evaluation, there are a lot of ideas and it really feels like he just keeps them all. The sort of write-as-you-go approach helps the album approach a more natural veneer but it also results in a lot of unnecessary instrumentation that grows so silly that it becomes hard to take the album seriously. It is a shame too because underneath some layers of exotic buffoonery there is a dark, zany world waiting.