release date: 12.06.2015
all tracks written & produced by Syl Kougaï.
recorded at bleeding arts studios in neo paris france.
photography & sleeve design by bleeding arts.
'the creation of adam' is a fresco painting of michelangelo.
vinyl edition released on schematic records, catalog-nr. sch116 - www.schematic.net
'if we use software that models a piano, controlled with a sequencer instead of playing it with a keyboard, we get a sort of prepared piano. but since we are able to modulate the physical proprieties of the instrument, we will get something entirely new.' (Syl Kougaï)
ΙΧΘΥΣ is the third full studio album from the french electronic music composer Syl Kougaï, on which he uses his unique brand of synthetic sounds interacting with acoustic recordings. he expands the borders of these two universes and develops imaginary instruments, driving classical playing techniques towards unexpected mechano-acoustic reactions. his artistic approach consists of combining most different methods of construction, from note by note writing on a software sequencer and editing audio recordings to development of modular patches and using a hardware step by step sequencer.
Syl Kougaï conducts his instrumentarium with ingenuity and passion to create his very own sound spectrum. each track on this album, by its meticulously built classical structure, may become a closed universe, a story in its own right with a beginning and an end. however, in its entirety, these stories build the chapters of a broader narrative set, a sort of mystical epic - a journey guided by reminiscent passages leading the listener on the path to transcendence. in a constant process of modification and permutation, abstract avantgarde electronics are presented independently as well as in combination with manifold sequenced beats, crossing the borders between the apollonian and the dionysian.
ΙΧΘΥΣ is intense, with crystal clear production, rich and varied compositions where several types of sounds and styles are put together to create a particularly unique mood. the deeper you fall into Syl Kougaïs aural universe, the more will be found to be discovered.
'i like to make my sounds speak, sing, cry, scream. i like them to transform, so the bird becomes violin and the violin becomes sword.' (Syl Kougaï)
ΙΧΘΥΣ is the third album by french composer syl kougaï. if we want to define his compositions as electronic music, we have to stretch that notion quite a lot, because although he uses acoustic instruments (including piano) some tracks sound barely like music. they are abstract soundscapes and the result is a very personal universe of sounds and rhythms, an addition of synthetic sounds and silence, mechanical and industrial. there are similarities with the sound of autechre, though syl kougaï often does not have the ambition, nor the intent to use songstructures or recognizable and protracted tempos. opale verniss comes closest to what you might call a musical composition, but halfway the simple melody is left and electronic clicks and cracks are shuffling past against a background of humming and sucking drones, supplemented with electronic modulations. corvus and picker amalthee on the other hand are pure soundscapes, with sounds that are written on a sequencer note after note and built with the distorted sound of various acoustic instruments and electronics. ousia sounds warmer and less metallic. ether begins hectic and busy with emphatic percussion, buzzing drones and countless noises, a track that meanders between autechre and aphex twin. an eastern wind is blowing through alpha & omega, but the track consists mainly of electronic humming sounds, adorned with clicks and noise, punctuated by the dark sound of wind instruments and then sharp oriental tones and whistling drones. pisces sounds dark and menacing, with electronic noise and percussion, organ-like fringes and repetitive throbbing drones and even something resembling a human voice. it is a beautiful and diverse track which concludes with emphatic percussion and buzzing noise. parousia is again more abstract: an atmospheric track in which sound and silence balance each other. sometimes it sounds like an electric guitar, other times like humming or whistling drones, but brief and subdued. ethyle gets hard percussion, crumbly electronics, a mosaic of noise and drones in the background and is closely related to the autechre-like sound of ether. after a quiet intro, picker aigis invades the living room as a hard drum composition, roaring like a tropical storm and then chaotic as the damage is measured, with steamer-like drones and tin-like sounds, again loud and emphatic percussion, shooting stars between lightning and humming drones ad infinitum. impressive. l'ecarlate, on the other hand, sounds like a toy piano with water droplet-like electronics on top, squeaky noise and then dark buzzing drones, while alleluia ends the album with the sound of whimpering stringed instruments, hectic organ tones and silence. ΙΧΘΥΣ is the headstrong project of a musician who explores known, but mostly unknown territory and who is not afraid to create a very personal universe with quirky and unique sounds. we refer to autechre and aphex twin, but actually the arsenal of syl kougaï is wider and equally versatile. (william lienard)
c’est sur le label hymen records (venetian snares, hecq, architect, nebulo…) que sort le fantastique troisième album du montpelliérain syl kougaï, ??t?s (ichtus en grec, qui signifie poisson, signe de reconnaissance chez les chrétiens et sigle de jésus). effectivement, l’écoute de cet album résonne comme une oeuvre mystique, organisée autour de sonorités organiques et de textures électroniques, d’instruments enregistrés, réarangés et triturés, de collages spasmodiques aux dérapages funambules, sur lesquels on pourra croiser l’ombre d’un aphex twin ou d’un plaid, le temps de quelques soubresauts. l’orient parfois fait son incursion, histoire de semer le trouble et de nous égarer dans des oasis baignées de soleil abrasif avant de bifurquer sur des terres aux gratte-ciels futuristes, tutoyant les cieux à l’image d’une tour de babel, recherche d’un dieu musical tout puissant, au goût prononcé pour l’expérimentaion et la projection d’un univers en mutation, dont les forces impénétrables forment des horizons zébrés en pointillés. les rythmes jouent à former des cadences aux spirales trépidantes, capables de décélérer, histoire de reprendre son souffle et de savourer des paysages aux couleurs chromatiques. syl kougaï nous envoie de son monde une oeuvre profondément personnelle, aux allures de devenir, big bang à l’inertie monstrueusement addictive, où chaque track est une invention en lui même, hérité d’un passé lointain et projeté dans un ailleurs aux bases enracinées dans les émotions d’un palpitant inconnu. tout simplement vénéneux. (roland torres)
ΙΧΘΥΣ video trailer:
ΙΧΘΥΣ. cd hymen records ¥835 / 2lp schematic sch116. 2015
twinkling five. digital single. bleeding arts #t05. 2015
twinkling four. digital single. bleeding arts #t04. 2015
twinkling three - en cavale. digital single. bleeding arts #t03. 2014
twinkling two. digital single. bleeding arts #t02. 2013
twinkling one. digital single. bleeding arts #t01. 2013
orage majorelle. digital ep. bleeding arts #a004. 2013
metaswing. cd. bleeding arts #a003. 2010
la fille verte. digital album. bleeding arts #a002. 2007
green live tracks. digital ep. bleeding arts #a001. 2006