Koreless, a little more superstitious than perfectionist

MUTEK has prepared a strong program for its evening Nocturne 4 presented at the MTelus on Saturday, which will feature three Britons, namely Dauwd, the brilliant Loraine James and the parsimonious composer Koreless.

Main collaborator of the musician FKA Twigs, the latter finally, after 10 years of waiting, released his first album last year. Title Agorthe unclassifiable work cemented the musician’s reputation as a sound designer while demonstrating that he had also learned to compose songs as complex as they were evocative.

“You see, with a lot of genres of music, if you take away the percussion, the music becomes a lot more ambiguous,” says Lewis Roberts. The Welsh musician rose to fame as Koreless at the age of 19 when he released the impressive mini-album. 4D in 2011, containing two sweet little treats of witty garage soul bouncing over a plump bass.

“I like techno, I like dance, but take away the percussion, and that’s where it gets interesting,” he continues. The problem is that for this music to make sense in the context of a dance floor, percussion is necessary. »

Maybe we’ll dance when Koreless walks alone on stage at MTelus, a little before 11pm on Saturday night. Some songs from the album Agor could goad us into it, the frenetic but melodious black rainbowin particular, or shell shockwhich, with its sung and hatched ritornello, suggests a house rhythm without really assuming it, which makes it mysterious.

ambiguity first

It’s because Koreless prefers to avoid overly obvious rhythmic patterns, he explains: “The problem with percussion is that when you use it in a traditional way, you immediately associate the piece with a musical style” – house, techno, garage, trance, etc. etc. “It’s hard to write rhythm parts without the listener being able to instantly place the song into a category. I prefer more ambiguous things. »

And anyway, Roberts is a very bad dancer. Well, it’s him who says it, with a wide smile, by the way. We caught the jovial musician on Google Meet on a beautiful sunny afternoon, while he’s in a park in the heart of London “because it’s the only slightly quiet place here.” MUTEK gives him the opportunity to visit us for the first time, he is delighted. “I already have lunch planned with Jacques Greene”, the composer and DJ from Montreal who, like Jamie XX, Four Tet and Caribou at the time, had noticed the talent of the young producer, even inviting him to release a single (lost in tokyo) on its Vase label in 2012.

return to the world

However, the conception of their first album, AgorIt had everything from the obstacle course. Ten years of doubts and a lot of work, interspersed with some releases (the microalbum Yugen in 2013, delicious) and for his fruitful collaboration with FKA Twigs. “Am I a perfectionist? It’s a funny word… I wouldn’t say perfectionist, but terribly anxious”, he admits, acknowledging at the same time that he had to make up his mind to finally deliver the album, otherwise he would still be working on it. .

“I feel liberated that I did it, breathe. Because by dint of isolating yourself due to the needs of the album, by dint of being silent, you end up not having a dialogue with the world. I feel like I’ve come back to the world” since its release in July 2021.

With AgorKoreless moved away from club music, honed his writing skills, and perfected his production techniques. This record crackles with sonic detail, the musician having the patience to spend hours, “even weeks”, shaping the sounds of it using the infinitely malleable Max/MSP software.

“I like all the synthesizers and software with which the gesture of creating a sound is a complicated matter”, he laughs, almost embarrassed. It inspires me, actually; the slow process of meticulously working on each sound is rewarding. And using Max/MSP, I am constantly coming up with new and cool ideas to play with sound material. Afterwards, you can really get lost with this software, bury hours and hours in it. I am lucky to be able to make a living from this”, adds the musician, who follows a very diverse musical diet that ranges from jazz to classical music, passing through “a bit of rock” and, of course, dance.

“These days, I listen to a lot of old electronic music from the 1950s; [le travail des artisans du] music research group [fondé par Pierre Schaeffer] It inspires me a lot these days, there are a lot of good ideas in there that haven’t been exploited” in popular music.

We will discover some of them during the concert that Koreless will present on Saturday night, made up of unreleased and remodeled versions of the songs ofAgor. “I’m a bad dancer, but I still move around a bit in concert. I also have this weird superstition that I put on shows without wearing shoes because I feel like every time I wear them, something goes wrong! »

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