ambient electronic

Aārp – Propaganda

There is a thin line between a government that handles a crisis well and a government that takes advantage of the possibilities that disorder brings.

Due to the covid-19 the Dutch government introduced an intelligent lockdown. Citizens were not forced to stay inside but asked to do so in favour of fellow citizens. Prime minister Mark Rutte played to role of a fellow concerned citizen really smart. Is he transparent or is there a hidden agenda?

Governments have a history of misinforming society. Paris-based experimental musician Aārp got triggered by an event in Nantes: a young man drowned under strange circumstances after police ended a festival. After the incident was covered up by spreading misinformation and distorting the truth.

Propaganda is an album about misinformation, distortion of the truth and propaganda initiated by governments and other authorities. The tittle of each track is a quote taken from historical events that we remember as propaganda. The ‘Axis of Evil’ speech by George Bush in 2002 is a well-known example, but I’m sure you recognize all the quotes Aārp uses.

Musically he refers to the producers who influenced him when starting making music: Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Amon Tobin and Oneothrix Point, to name a few. The lush sound, glitches and playfulness are present in every track.

Aārp operates between these influences and an open synthesizer sound that we consider to be typically French. The layers of analogue sounding synths and ambient atmosphere give this album a distant future- like feel. As if Aārp wants to warn us: this may sound like the future, but the message is one of the past. Be. Critical. Of. Authorities.

Propaganda by Aārp is released by InFiné.


Arandel – InBach

Since its debut ten years ago the French project Arandel – swallow in a regional dialect – has released some interesting music floating between electronics, avant-garde and classical music.

This latest is definitely the weirdest: work by Johann Sebastian Bach is used as a basis for excursions into electronic pop music. Bach’s music has been (re)interpreted a lot, but not in the way Arandel is doing here.

The mysterious producer got access to some vintage instruments like a viola da gamba, an Erard square piano, a clavichord, and a 1940s ondioline proto-synth. With the help of a handful of musicians and 21th-century electronic filters, he managed to make an album that sounds like lush and open dream pop with a touch of Bach. Definitely worthwhile.

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InBach by Arandel will be released by InFiné later this month.