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Igor Wakhévitch - Logos CD (album) cover


Igor Wakhévitch


Progressive Electronic

4.05 | 34 ratings

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5 stars The French thickens

Talking about experimental albums from the past century and France - you're bound to wind up at the mad eccentricities of Igor Wakhevitch. With a musical upbringing many of us only can dream of, this cat studied under the majestic hands of both Olivier Messiaen and Pierre Schaeffer before the vastness of the outside world hit him over the head with a shovel: Stockhausen, Soft Machine, Varese, The Floyd - everybody was experimenting, trying to use the musical language in ways it had never experienced before.

One might be tempted to say, that Wakhevitch took this lingo evolution the furthest. Trust me, most people who encounter his music either run screaming for the hills with faces full of confusion and disbelief, or they start building large plinths on public squares in his honour.

Whereas most of the music claiming to have artistic leverage and refined haute couture trickery infused in its arteries more than often is based in ludicrous lyrics and mystical stage costumes, you sense that you're on an entirely different planet with Wakhevitch. His debut Logos is a sonic collection of poems reflecting a contemporary ballet's finer inner workings......This is stage blood, creaking window panes, dusty cobwebs vibrating to the age old world of the theatre. If this is a soundtrack to a ballet, I'd love to see the dancers....

The music is ritualistic and deeply fascinating. It shimmers and lurks with strange hovering almost static segments, where polyphonic musical voices pop up in the most odd of places. Unlike post rock where the crescendo is nigh on foreseeable, you DAAAAAAWWW get the DOOOOOUUMNM feeling BAAAAAAAAAAHHH with DOOOOOOUMM Igor that he seeks to highlight other moments in his music. It's perplexing at first - it even gets annoying - I seem to remember getting furiously angered with myself and the music, because it didn't behave as 'normal' music did. "AAAARGGGHHH!!!!!! Follow the Goddamn rules why dontjah!?!?!?!!"

I had long conversations with myself, trying again and again to prepare my mind to let go of its mental levies and let it all fall down. Surrender to the madness I say!!!! I succeeded in nothing however, and the feeling of being left on the side of the road every time I put the album on, only grew with subsequent attempts I had. I felt lost.

Some place around summer time, some 7 or 8 months after I'd burned it over to my I-pod and gladly forgotten about its existence, I obliviously pushed play whilst lying down on the beach. I think it was the sun that had blinded me, but I'm eternally grateful for its bright lights of the day. Nothing happened at first, mostly because I was expecting something different - but then at the flick of the switch the music ran over me with complete utter grace - a word I dared not associate with it the first time around. With the erratic movements of waves beneath my feet and the everchanging pulses of wind huffing and puffing at my parasol - Logos started to make sense.

Like a weird dream of reptiles and shadows a slow theatrical music emerges. Droning voices flickering on the air together with a delirious Saucerful of Secrets sheen that permeates the organs. The sudden jolts of choirs shooting up like involuntary bean-sprouts now feel more integrated and purposeful, and you see why it has to be this way. I finally understood the irregulars that needed to exist for the music to work properly.

It was like Zeuhl music had dropped its throbbing rhythms and melted into an old ancient electronic Indian chant. This is truly the stuff the Navajos call prog...

I believe Wakhevitch is a genius. With just under a half hours worth of music - Logos manages to interweave modern classical music into a ritualistic polyphony of metal hissing, choral magnitude, galloping percussions, musique concrete and fidgety jello-like shadings from the experimental rock world.

Before I stop, I'd like to mention that for some remarkable reason all Wakhevitch albums seem to have red music on them. When I hear his repertoire, almost instantly a ruby red colour starts to emanate from way back in my subconsciousness. Like a wound unattended it bleeds its way through the entire record leaving a strange morbid trail of just how far and wide I got with every bewildering listen.

Guldbamsen | 5/5 |


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