Live at the Echoplex
Los Angeles, CA
February 12th, 2018
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
Igorrr is the alter ego of French composer Gautier Serre. The music he makes is truly genre-spanning and impossible to classify as it is as much Aphex Twin as it is Mayhem. Baroque classical influences blend together with operatic vocals, death metal growls, Diamanda Galas style screeches, heavy doses of breakcore and chugging metal guitar.
Songs are intense, the performances emotional and moving. Live on stage he is joined by dual vocalists Laurent Lunoir and Laure Le Prunenec as well as percussionist Sylvain Bouvier.
Laure gives gripping delivery of clean operatic vocals punctuated by emotional outbursts of tragedy and anger. I cannot really understand the lyrics but the emotional impact is more important than exact wordage.
Laurent is painted in unique body and face makeup that has contrasting shades and vein like designs that work extremely well in the dramatic lighting and smoky atmosphere. In addition, he holds a customized microphone that looks alien-like, similar to a portion of a crustacean with blue lights inside of it that shine on his painted face as he sings in growls and screeches.
I discovered Igorrr several months ago as their latest release, "Savage Sinusoid" was released on Metalblade records this last year. I applaud Metalblade for taking risks and signing bands that reach out from the standard metal genre fare as Igorrr are definitely not normal by any means.
The crowd at the Echoplex reflected the mixed nature of the music as well. There were a few metalheads present but there were also ravers, electroheads, avant guardians, and the obligatory hipsters. Regardless, the entire crowd got into the show and were moving around in their own fashion. Some people had their fists in the air, others were pogo-sticking to the beat and at several points, a mosh pit broke out up front.
I have not been into Igorrr long enough to recognize many of their songs but they played a lengthy set, around seventeen songs, ranging from material from the newer release which features a good number of heavy guitar segments in addition to some of the more operatic/baroque elements from previous releases such as "Tout petit moineau" from "Hallelujah".
It was a pretty cool experience and I definitely enjoyed the show. I think Igorrr provide something unique which is harder and harder in the ever expanding world of music. At times they are headbangers, others abrasive experimentalists, and underlying it all is a strong, moving electronic essence that brings to mind the earliest pioneers of industrial music.
I guess you could say Igorrr personify this mentality the strongest despite their sound not falling into what most consider industrial music, especially by today's standards. They have quite a bit in common with mind set that drove bands such as Throbbing Gristle, Foetus, Skinny Puppy, and Diamanda Galas to create the genre defying music that they did, and it is good to see artists still inspired to break the molds and redefine genres.
I highly recommend checking them out, if nothing else to see how well these elements actually blend together and form a very intense listening experience. This was their North American live debut, hopefully they return as their live show exceeds expectations.
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