Blog Archives

Video: Agoria – You’re Not Alone feat. Blasé

Following the release of his recent single ‘Embrace’, widely acclaimed producer and composer Agoria (aka Sebastien Devaud) reveals ‘You’re Not Alone’featuring Blasé (half of French act Haute), hailed by Agoria as “the perfect portrait of an open-minded generation.”

Directed by Latin Grammy Award winner Hernan Corera (“Best Director” in 2016 for his video ‘Gallo Negro’ for IKV) with Cornas & Cavia as co-directors, the video introduces a tribe bidding farewell to their young leader who passed hastily. The deceased’s girlfriend and his faithful comrade are appointed to assist him through his final trip.

During this funeral motorcycle trip through the desert, we discover the story that led them to this moment uncovering the strong and special links within the trio.

“Nobody is alone, even in the unknown country of death. Life never goes away. Memory, fraternity and hope are the doors that connect the territories of mystery.” says Hernan Corera. “That is why I wanted to tell the farewell of a leader, a journey under the halo of a magical ritual. The myth as the rite, is always the same. A man is all men. The duality of good and evil coexist within our spirit and is strengthened depending on the glass with which you look, that’s why this story and its characters really unfold depending on who sees it, our characters rule realms to explore. So whoever sees love at the same time can see another betrayal. Who sees death can also see birth.”

Michael Mayer – & LP

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Michael Mayer is one of the leading German tastemakers in dance music and his DJ sets have influenced a generation (or two) of musicians and fans.As an artist, Mayer remains tirelessly motivated to DJing, in the studio or behind his desk at KOMPAKT, the label he co-owns. His recording career spans four albums, 23 EP’s, nearly 170 remixes and the legendary DJ mixes for fabric and Immer.‘&’ is his third full-length,a passionate and personal album that speaks as broadly as his DJ sets – embracing his genre-busting love for music, rhythm and atmosphere – and the dancefloor in front of him.

‘&’ – the title says it all; Michael Mayer collaborated for every track on the album. “All of those involved are good friends of mine and not random choices selected from someTop 100 list.These people mean a lot to me – and by that the music we produced together is heart driven and emotionally powered. I felt we had a mutual privilege to share time together in the studio creating what you hear”.

‘&’ follows a long phase of solitary studio work, but Michael is returning to a pattern of collaboration that’s been significant throughout his career. From his early band Forever Sweet (with Reinhard Voigt and Tobias Thomas), Zimt (with Matias Aguayo) or most recently Supermayer (with Superpitcher).This new wave of partnerships can be traced to the series of back-to-back DJ sets he played throughout 2015. “In the past, I would always take the safe route and DJ with those I would also want go to bed with”, he says with a grin. “Then I found myself opening up. I got this desire to share the decks with DJs who may not share the same records in their crates but who shared a sense of adventure and challenge in playing together”.The most inspiring moment that comes to mind were his sets with Seth Troxler. “We challenged ourselves without borders, a purpose that lead to what ‘&’ is all about”.

Opening track ‘We Like To Party’ finds Michael (finally) producing with old friend Roman Flügel – a tribute to an era of music that shaped them both. A high noon bloomer inspired from the late 80’s / early 90’s. It comes with a wink…and scratch.‘Disco Dancers’ is produced with his KOMPAKT brothers in arms Jörg Burger,Wolfgang and ReinhardVoigt. Old friends holding hands for a colourful dance so deep you feel the heat of the night in their heart, and it delivers the most insane breakdown you’re likely to hear this year. Brazil’s leading techno force, Gui Boratto brings a dramatic change of atmosphere on ‘State of the Nation’ – the lights go on as Michael and Gui bridge a blusterous paradigm to the dancefloor.

‘Mind Games’ is the first song with vocals, by Friendly Fires Ed Macfarlane, that are a declaration of sadness and search for acceptance in a relationship’s demise.The collaboration with Kölsch ‘Gemination’ brings a hypothermic drop to the senses. ‘Voyage Interieur’ with Miss Kittin reflects current world politics.The original idea was to produce a track that breathed the classic ‘80’s sound of Miami freestyle, but the attack on Brussels happened shortly before the session started and in a spontaneous reaction,Miss Kittin’s words found a perfect fit with the bittersweet melancholy of the track.An intense dance on the thin line called life.

‘ForYou’ is a modern ballad for the dance floor and bedroom.A true love story sung by one of the best,Joe Goddard of Hot Chip / The 2 Bears. Over the course of Michael’s career remixing the likes of Rufus Wainwright or Pet Shop Boys, he has been able to bridge song writing and dance music in an extraordinary way and they both unleash the best of their talents and shine as if someone turned on every light in the world for a love that is meant to stay.‘Blackbird Has Spoken’, produced together with talented French producer Agoria, is about taking all the time on the world, filling the room with a pop ambient flavour of modern club music.A track intended to go on forever… ‘La Compostela’ with acclaimed musician Hauschka is an unlikely collaboration that exhibits Michael’s adventurousness. “We both didn’t expect this to happen. I expected an epic trance track or something totally abstract – not this baroque rave whopper”.

“Listen to the silence inside of you, when all is said and done” are the first words you hear on ‘Comfort Me’, the threesome of Michael Mayer, Prins Thomas and vocalist Irene Kalisvaart. It resonates an era of pop music gone by but not forgotten. A sweet temptation as much as a moment of inner truth, the song captures those hours on the dancefloor when one forgets that others are around. An album highlight is ‘Und Da Stehen Fremde Menschen’, built around a vocal sample from a long lost East German band Stern Meissen. “I bought the record because I thought the cover was interesting.Then I heard this one line that fitted perfectly to this idea of mine”. Barnt was the only candidate to make this idea come to life. “The trick was to bridge something that sounds sincere and deep with a delicate balance of craziness”. The outcome breathes a groovy spookiness, likened to the Giallo works of Dario Argento, where the borders between reality and fiction are not clear.

‘&’ comes to a tranquil close with ‘Cicadelia’, a long distance team up between long time Pop Ambient / Kompakt producer Andrew Thomas from New Zealand. ”This is the kind of music that I would like to hear under the most brutal sun with my tongue sticking to the palate. It’s the musical equivalent of an ice cold Cuba Libre.”

‘&’ is the rare manifest of an established artist who is willing to risk it all and challenge himself, and the world around him. 12 tracks, 12 single narratives coming from a group of very individual minds orchestrated by Michael Mayer – the DJ, artist,A&R but most importantly, obsessed music lover. Michael describes the process of curating and creating ‘&’ as a constant battle between his three alter egos but “the obsessed music lover has had the final say.”

As diverse as they are, all the tracks that result from this long and winding road create a cohesive story and present the elasticity of Mayer’s musical galaxy. Michael gladly leaves it to the rest of the scene to discuss the different grey shapes of club culture. For him there is only one club culture – a playful and open-minded one that’s easy to comprehend after you hear ‚&’.

~ Thomas Venker, Cologne, 2016

Out October 28 on !K7

Tracklist:
A1 Michael Mayer & Roman Flügel – We Like To Party
A2 Michael Mayer & Burger / Voigt & Voigt – Disco Dancers
A3 Michael Mayer & Gui Boratto – State Of The Nation
B1 Michael Mayer & Ed Macfarlane – Mind Games
B2 Michael Mayer & Kölsch – Gemination
B3 Michael Mayer & Miss Kittin – Voyage Interieur
C1 Michael Mayer & Joe Goddard – For You
C2 Michael Mayer & Agoria – Blackbird Has Spoken
C3 Michael Mayer & Hauschka – La Compostela
D1 Michael Mayer & Prins Thomas / Irene Kalisvaart – Comfort Me
D2 Michael Mayer & Barnt – Und Da Stehen Fremde Menschen
D3 Michael Mayer & Andrew Thomas – Cicadelia

Michael Mayer, Agoria – Blackbird Has Spoken

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Michael Mayer is one of the leading tastemakers in dance music and his DJ sets have influenced a generation (or two) of musicians and fans. As an artist, Mayer remains tirelessly motivated behind the DJ decks, in the studio or behind his desk at KOMPAKT, the label he co-owns. His recording career spans four albums, 23 EP’s, nearly 170 remixes and the legendary DJ mixes for fabric and Immer. His own productions are always passionate and personal, while speaking as broadly as his DJ sets – embracing his genre-busting love for music, rhythm and atmosphere – and the dancefloor in front of him.

Agoria one of the leading French electronic producers and DJs. Co-founder of InFiné and Les Nuits Sonores Festival. In recent years, alongside his DJing in clubs and high profile events like the Cannes Film Festival, he’s also written scores for film and is working on his 5th studio album.

For those who like to read song titles as a part of a bigger story then “Blackbird Has Spoken” is the perfect reflection to that. Agoria and Mayer team up for a track is about taking all the time on the world. It’s a track with that fills the room with a distinctive pop ambient flavoured twist on modern club music. It’s a track intended to go on forever.

Agoria writes “Michael was one of the first artists I asked to remix one of my songs (“Sky is clear”) when I began making music.We are on the same boat, sharing miles and smiles all over the world since years, I’m so happy we finally managed to sit down together making our first common piece of music: Une eau de Cologne de Paris”.

Agoria – Independence EP

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After sending Scala to Berlin, twirling his Hélice in London and colonising Bapteme in Cologne, Agoria declares ‘Independence’ in Barcelona. An anthem that’s been a highlight of the summer for Maceo Plex and Agoria, Independence’s date has finally being fixed.

Agoria on Independence “Since I moved to Paris last year, I have had the chance to meet amazing artists including the Russian pianist Mikhail Rudy and the sound designer of the movie ‘Gravity’, Nicolas Becker. The three of us are animated by curiosity and the will of playing with our specifics boundaries. I guess this is just the first step symbolizing our state of mind: Independence. When I met Eric [Maceo Plex] in Ibiza last year, we instantly connected, we both can play all kinds of music so I thought Ellum was the place to release it.”

Agoria’s debut release on Ellum is an equally sinister and experimental affair. Apocalyptic drum crescendos are broken up by warm synths tones and washed against baritone basslines on the title track. Architectural’s stunning rework elevates it to an eerie, cavernous space. ‘Gravity’ featuring Nicolas Becker, features spoken word layered over a driving, hypnotic groove and Stephen Barnem’s remix builds an intensity in simple, pulsating frequencies. An alternative vinyl version of ‘Independence; only available on the 12″ features the infamous Russian pianist Mikhail Rudy.

Sébastien Devaud AKA Agoria was living in rural France when he first got hooked to electronic music. He started producing and releasing his own tracks in 1999 and gained international recognition with a series of 12´s on Pias recordings in 2002. Agoria has released four critically acclaimed long-players and countless singles. Resident Advisor named his At The Controls compilation series one of the best mix-cds of the past decade. He also founded Nuits Sonores, one of the best European festivals is currently experimenting with cinéma with film director Jan Kounen & with contemporary art.

The enigma that is Architectural has cemented a solid base of sonic material of pure techno with minimalist touches straight from Chicago with Detroit ripples. Originally born in Brazil but raised between Berlin and Venice, Stephan Barnem follows up past releases on Ellum with his stellar remix.

New Order – Restless (Agoria Remix)

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The Agoria remix of ‘Restless’ is taken from ‘Restless’ single package – released on Mute on 9 October. Restless is the first single from New Order’s upcoming album, Music Complete out September 25th on Mute.

The Restless single package features an extended 12” Mix, and further remixes from xxxy, RAC & long-term collaborator Andrew Weatherall. Pre-order the bundle here and get an instant download of the Agoria remix. Pre-Order Music Complete & get an instant download of ‘Restless’: iTunes – po.st/NewOrderiTunes.

Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons – Vermillion (Agoria Remix)

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Here’s a great deep, minimal remix of Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons’ “Vermillion” by Agoria. The original track is the lead single off the forthcoming album, Message From the Other Side.

I’m doing very few remixes at the moment, but when Damian sent me “Vermillion” just before christmas I immediately fell in love with the vocals,” Agoria says. “I had no other choice but to cut my holiday short to make this remix.  We exchanged a few tracks and ideas in the past but the timing never fit.  I’m happy that we finally found the time to collaborate with each other.”

The “Vermillion” single and remix package is out now on Crosstown Rebels, with the full album landing May 18.

Agoria – Baptême EP

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One of the most accomplished and revered producers in electronic music today makes his solo debut on Kompakt: French mastermind Agoria presents his new mesmerizing floor epic Baptême.

I’m very happy that Baptême will finally be released“, says the producer, “it’s a very special tune for me, representing a lot of changes in my personal life these last two years. It signals my ‘second life’, if you will“.

Meaning “baptism” in French, the cut’s title is indeed a perfect fit for its particularly festive spirit, exuding both solemnity and sheer pleasure, hallmarks of Agoria’s unique brand of emotional and versatile techno. Bouncy, minimalist percussion is joined by an extensive, dub-styled sub-bass and floating shards of atmospheric synths, quickly escalating into a high definition mover fitted with gorgeous swabs of piano and a keen sense for emotional space.

On the flipside, the original track gets a fascinating rework from DJ Tennis and The Rapture’s Luke Jenner, whose Lucky Blue Eyes Version adds more wiggle room to the proceedings, bolstering its loosened grip with enticing new vocals. In yet another step forward, Agoria himself revisits the remix, sharpening its blurry edges and successfully putting the vocals to work in a prime time environment: “my friend Patrice Bardot – the chief editor of Tsugi Magazine – even said that this one sounds like The Doors for the 21st century“, he adds – and indeed, it’s next level dreaming for those who need a little bit more from their floor than just another knock on the head. (via kompakt)

Metronomy – I’m Aquarius / Love Letters (Edu Imbernon & Agoria Remixes)

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The sophomore release from Edu Imbernon’s new project Fayer comes in the shape of one of the most respected bands of the last 5 years, Metronomy. On the back of their forth studio album, “Love Letters” comes two stellar remixes from the label boss himself, and French electronic music producer, composer and DJ, Agoria.

Edu’s remix of “I’m Aquarius” starts in relaxed fashion, echoing the vibe of his recent remix of Qtier’s “Set Me On”. Synth layers build slowly, the instantly recognisable vocals of Joseph Mount teasing in, before the track erupts, refusing to let go until things break down again before another eruption at the 5 minute mark.

Agoria comes with something a little different on his “Love Letters” remix. Stripping out all vocals from the original, instead digging out a previously unused vocal, Agoria creates an off kilter, uneasy, loop driven yet epic monster that has already seen early support from Dixon, Joris Voorn and Gesaffelstein.

“Metronomy – I’m Aquarius / Love Letters (Remixes)” is released 8th December 2014 via Fayer.

The concept around the Fayer label is to bridge the song based sounds of indie and electronica and the more club friendly sounds of house and techno. As such I looked to retain Metronomy’s more indie leaning sounds while making something more electronic and club friendly – whilst trying to make a remix that will surprise the listener, full of energy and eclecticism.” Edu Imbernon

Edu Imbernon America Tour:
21st Nov – Jimmy Woo, Mexico City, Mexico
22nd Nov – Toika, Toronto, Canada
23rd Nov – Audio, San Francisco, US
24th Nov – Sound, LA, US
28th Nov – Baum, Bogota, Colombia
29th Nov – Lost Beach Club, Montanita, Ecuador

Video: Martina Topley-Bird feat. Mark Lanegan – Crystalised (The xx Cover)

Here’s a downtempo excellence from No. 19 Music‘s next release, Art Department presents Martina Topley-Bird featuring Mark Lanegan & Warpaint in ‘Crystalised’. The track is a complete re-imagining of The xx’s modern classic of the same name. Here though, it is masterfully re-built from the bottom up with Warpaint’s instrumentation and vocals from Martina Topley Bird and celebrated American singer-songwriter Mark Lanegan. To accompany the release, there is a fantastic video (produced by Los Angeles’s 1/60 STUDIO, directed by Javier Badet) that pairs the singing-heads of Lanegan and Topley Bird with hi-budget animation and suitably overcast imagery. The release will also include a series of remixes, including one by Directors Cut (a.k.a. Frankie Knuckles and Eric Kupper), plus ones by Agoria, Deniz Kurtel, and Tone of Arc. Check out the tracklist below the video and preview here.

Tracklist:
01 Crystalised
02 Crystalised [Directors Cut Signature Mix]
03 Crystalised [Directors Cut Unmarked Dub]
04 Crystalised [Agoria Remix]
05 Crystalised [Deniz Kurtel Remix]
06 Crystalised [Tone of Arc Remix]