Last week Derek sent me a link to his new album AGORA. It’s his second release to date and I hope he keeps them coming.
AGORA’s sound spectrum is wide to say the least. It appears to be mostly electroacoustic which means recording acoustic instruments and other natural sounds and then manipulating in them software or effects). There’s also varying degrees of processed vocals that appear over every one of the eleven tracks.
The album starts out with Invoce which is a drone thriller, with what seems like chanting getting layered by more chanting and granulised vocal processing, it all turns into a foggy haze from the land that time forgot. Flood Circuit is a slow burner, it’s full of digital sound that’s almost at a white noise state and sits quietly at the back of this track. There’s a vocal hum that starts at the beginning and later stops and starts then ends. A deep bass fills the bottom end as we get to the last minute as the whole track glitches out of control into the abrupt ending.
Scrape is also a wonderful track. It has an intense start with bell like sounds and muffled vocals. The track has an eerie quality about it, like it’s conjuring up spirits from the underworld. From Whiteness is one of the most traditional tracks on the album, but I use the term traditional loosely. It has lyrics and forms a song of sorts over a fairly industrial backing which consists of a heavy percussive presence of intermittent distorted kicks and a constant metallic snare. Focus is also a track which contains fairly unprocessed vocals singing a song in an unidentified language. The voice is very sweet and is sitting just under the falsetto register.
Remain is one of my favourites. It basically sums up the style that Derek has mastered as a experimental musician.
My standout piece would have to be Winter Consumption. It’s a beautiful track with a vocal melody that kind of sounds like Thom Yorke of Radiohead. It’s a very calming and ambient piece with no glitchy surprises, there’s even a hint of piano towards the end. This track is the perfect ending to an album that is wonderfully well crafted. It may not be to everyones liking but it’s well worth checking it out.