Koreless - Agor Music Album Reviews

Koreless - Agor Music Album Reviews
Arriving a full 10 years after his debut single, Welsh producer Lewis Roberts’ first album is a bravura display of brain-bending editing that’s more concerned with big feelings.

Koreless’ debut single sounded like the work of someone who’d already been whittling his ideas down for a good long while. Released in 2011, “4D” and its B-side, “MTI,” were elegantly stripped takes on the nebulous style known simply as post-dubstep: The drums were blippy, the wordless vocals cut to digital ribbons. Unlike dubstep, a style predicated on surfeit—bass so deep it sucks up all the oxygen in the room, reverb that blurs the bounds of time—these songs were trim and sinewy, their percussive sounds little more than bright slivers of tone, as though he’d carved them out of the tick-tocking of a digital metronome. The vocal, a sleek montage of hiccups and sighs, felt like an avatar of human expression, as economical as it was elegant: an aria compressed into a handful of digitized brushstrokes.

It would have been easy to assume that Koreless, aka Welsh producer Lewis Roberts, had begun by painting himself into a corner—that there was nowhere to go but bigger. James Blake had already succeeded in making dubstep as weightless as dust motes. The Field had reduced minimal techno to a gossamer scrim of acoustic samples. But Koreless spent the next few years proving his determination to render club music in the language of electron microscopy. With 2012’s “Lost in Tokyo,” 2013’s Yūgen EP, and 2015’s “TT”/“Love,” he kept zooming in further, until the music resembled luminous pinpricks quivering in empty space. That’s not to say it sounded cold: “TT,” in particular, is as warm and lush as anything from the past decade of dance music. It just seems to have been spattered out of a virtual eyedropper of vocal samples, one minuscule pastel dot at a time. Then, as if he had decided that he couldn’t drill down any further, Koreless seemed to disappear from view.

Actually, Roberts was spending his workdays writing and producing for artists like FKA twigs and Rita Ora, when not pushing painstakingly forward with Agor, his debut album, which arrives a full 10 years after his debut single. The first release under his own name in six years, Agor does not bear much trace of Roberts’ dalliances with pop. Instead, it represents a new shift in the old Koreless sound: bigger, fuller, and more enveloping, despite being assembled from tiny fragments. Like one of David Hockney’s Polaroid collages, it is a mosaic that invites you to swim in it.

Roberts has described the album’s creation in Sisyphean terms, calling it a “sickly obsession,” and you can hear his effort in the details. He remains an overwhelmingly technical producer, a virtuoso of the cut-up waveform, and much of Agor amounts to a bravura display of his brain-bending editing. A few interstitial tracks are essentially sketches to show off a particularly nifty textural pattern, like fabric swatches for the ears. “Hance” is built from bright percussive tones halfway between steel pans and pinball flippers, with a rhythm that alternately speeds and slows. A similarly jittery kinetic impulse drives “Frozen,” a Oneohtrix Point Never-style experiment that plays up the disjunct between antiquated harpsichord sounds and the opalescent shimmer of VR. The same sounds and techniques tend to recur across the album, giving it the feel of an interconnected suite. Roberts lavishes most of his attention on the human voice: shaving isolated syllables down to a hair’s breadth, then layering them in sync with equally infinitesimal bits of synth and percussion, so that it feels like you are witnessing the ripple of molecules as they warm and cool.

But the album is less concerned with pixel-sized fireworks than big feelings. Roberts likes to stack his synths in fat, top-heavy clusters that buzz with overtones, and he’s got a knack for the gut-punch chord change. Sometimes the emo goes into overdrive: Things reach an early peak on the two-part “White Picket Fence” and “Act(s),” in which a soaring, wordless soprano invokes Michael Nyman’s soundtrack to The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. Here, and in a few other places on the album, Roberts leans a little too hard on the lever marked “pathos”; the sticky-sweet melody feels like a command rather than an invitation. It’s one of the few occasions where he draws his vocal melody out in great, sweeping lines, but his pointillism is more compelling.

Koreless has always taken an ambivalent attitude toward the dancefloor, and nowhere is that more evident than on Agor’s two biggest anthems. Schooled in the choppy syncopations of Robag Wruhme, Lorenzo Senni, and Joy Orbison’s “Hyph Mngo,” “Joy Squad” layers fluttering tones over the album’s sole, exhilarating house beat. Yet this moment of rhythmic abandon lasts less than a minute; the rest of the track’s runtime is given to agonizing build-ups, like a rollercoaster that’s mostly stomach-churning ascent. On “Shellshock,” a barnstorming song in the vein of Sam Barker’s drum-less techno epics, Roberts repeatedly teases a climax, climbing to a peak and then pulling out the rug. He did something similar on a recent remix of Caribou’s “Never Come Back,” turning a poppy highlight from Suddenly into a spine-tingling subversion of expectations. These counterintuitive moments show the extent to which Roberts, in Koreless’ six-year absence, has largely abandoned dance music’s conventions in pursuit of a more elusive payoff. On Agor, that willingness to push himself—combined with all his obsessive effort—yields both visceral thrills and real feeling.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Koreless - Agor Music Album Reviews Koreless - Agor Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on July 16, 2021 Rating: 5


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