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With 2017′s Savage Sinusoid, Igorrr more than proved to be a truly unique musical force – and 2020′s Spirituality And Distortion cements that well-earned reputation. Slamming together disparate musical styles ranging from death and black metal to breakcore, Balkan, baroque and classical music in a manner that is as unconventional and unpredictable as it is thrilling, Igorrr are unlike any other act, and Spirituality And Distortion displays just as broad a range of emotions as sounds. “Getting stuck in only one emotion is very boring to me; life is a wide range of emotions – sometimes you’re happy, sometimes you’re sad, angry, pissed off, nostalgic or blown away,” states mastermind Gautier Serre. “Life is not only one color. These 14 tracks are a journey through different states of mind I’ve been through.

Admitting that upon starting work on the record he lacked confidence in realizing it – “I was not sure at all of what I was doing, where it was gonna lead, or if I would be able to make an album with it or not, I was just following my instinct and seeing where it might reach” – one influence pushed through and is a prominent part of Spirituality And Distortion: traditional eastern music. “No idea where it comes from, but the colors of those sounds inspired me a lot. It’s something I’ve been extremely attracted to. Those sounds have a real deepness in the emotional range, and combined with heavy music, it’s something which took me very deep into myself, and which pushed me into doing tracks like ‘Downgrade Desert’, ‘Camel Dancefloor’, ‘Himalaya Massive Ritual’ or ‘Overweight Poesy’.” At no stage was there any plan, embracing the freedom offered in the wake of achieving Savage Sinusoid and going wherever ideas took him, embracing a small army of specialist musicians to help him attain his vision. Importantly, like its predecessor, this is not a predominantly electronic record. “The organization part has been more complicated as we had to fly traditional instrumentalists to our studio, so, lots of planes, trains and cars were involved to make it happen, but all the acoustic instruments have been recorded traditionally, with no help of the computer.” These included violinist Timba Harris, bassist Mike Leon, pianist Matt Lebofsky, Oud player Mehdi Haddab, accordion player Pierre Mussi, Kanoun player Fotini Kokkala and harpsichordist Benjamin Bardiaux, among others. Vocally, the most prominent performer is Laure Le Prunenec, whose operatic strains are a longtime part of the Igorrr mix, while regular collaborator Laurent Lunoir also appears on a few tracks. Serre also invited Pierre Lacasa and Jasmine Barra back to the studio (known from their appearance on previous tracks like “Vegetable Soup” and “Cheval”) to appear on “Kung-Fu Chèvre” and got to realize a dream with one guest performer. “We had the honor to welcome my personal favorite musical hero on this album: George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher of Cannibal Corpse. He screams on the track ‘Parpaing’, and his legendary voice brings the heaviness this track deserved. George is like the final boss of death metal. Like on a video game you have the final boss who is the strongest, George is the best in death metal singing. Due to the extreme heaviness and violence of his voice, I found it very much coherent to contrast it with a cheap tune of 8bit music which is the least heavy music on earth. The contrast is beautiful to my ears.” However, lyrics are less important when he is creating, and often these are delivered in languages he does not even speak. “As with the previous albums, I’m entirely focused on the sound itself and how the sonorities of the voice speaks to the heart, not the intellectual meaning of the words.

Ever unconventional, the title for the record came from circumstances most musicians would never experience. “At the beginning, I chose to call one of the tracks ‘Spirituality And Distortion’ as on this track there were deep oriental sounds with heavy distorted guitars that I made by putting fire on the cabs of my amplifier. Doing that, I found the perfect split between the spirituality and the distortion, which are two perfectly opposite concepts, and later on, I noticed that it was the case with not only one, but many tracks of the album – the heavy distortion due to the settings and the actual fire, and the spiritual mood that the middle eastern instruments were giving to the soul. This title represents pretty well the split between two opposite feelings, and that is the same feeling you have after you listen to the album.” Tracked at Improve Tone Studios in France, Serre employed the same technical crew as on Savage Sinusoid but chose again to work with no outside producers, uncomfortable with giving his “baby” to anyone else, and 100% confident in his own abilities to achieve that which he intends once in the studio environment and surrounded by his selected instrumentalists. He admits, however, that the sessions were very, very intensive this time around. “I got closed inside the studio for a very long time without having a break. The difference with ‘Savage Sinusoid’ is that I did the same amount of work but over a much longer period of time. The ‘Spirituality And Distortion’ sessions were much more intense in that I did it in a much shorter time; it was intensive work to push myself to the hardest limits I could endure. To be honest, I suffered pretty much in the process of creating this album, and I’m very happy, despite all the difficulties – technical and human – that I succeed to not let go even the smallest bit of the quality I wanted for this album. Also, if this new music was not better than the last record in my mind, I wouldn’t release it.

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