ABSTRACKT KEAL AGRAM - Abstrackt Keal Agram
It seems that you had to search among instrumental works if you wanted to find the best French albums for 2001 in the hip-hop affiliated category. After Tacteel’s Butter for the Fat (admittedly an EP), it’s Abstrackt Keal Agram’s turn to find their place a bit late in our end of the year best-of.
Apart from the fact that there is no emcee and that we find non-stop quality, this record has not many other common points with former ATK’s beatmaker’s record. This is definitely another universe. If you want to find the roots of this duo (Lionel Pierres and Tanguy Destable) from Morlaix (Brittany), you first have to look into noisy music, then in electronic sounds, and finally, quite naturally, into the works of DJ Shadow and (more recently) Prefuse 73.
Of course, this stream of influences is to be felt more strongly in the whole of the album, a gathering of instrumental tracks halfway between electronica and hip-hop, as short and addictive as songs, and each time coloured differently. Here and there, scattered along the way, you may find what Abstrackt Keal Agram kept from their first experiences, the holy trinity of rock : guitar, bass guitar and the drums. The hip-hop feeling evidently stems from the use of samples (especially a few quotes), some beats and scratches, performed by DJ Dude and DJ Snookut.
All of these result in tracks sometimes agreeable, often real good. Guitars and drums switching to synthetic flights in ‘Diskoboy’, a cinematographical ‘Frankie’, a threatening ‘Volume AKA’, the guitars in ‘Pas D’Accoutumances’, the quiet electronica in ‘Sallad’ all are greatly constructed. And the whole is sensitively and fluidly organised, by the two men who obviously learnt how to make an album correctly.
In theory, as well as in your ears, this formula is nothing new, not even in France. However the final result is stronger, more sober and easy going than a record by DJ Cam for example. A sure sign of their popularity since this album is out is their performance at the Transmusicales in Rennes, a major French festival for worldwide musicians, and as they start having international fame, they have found another label than Monopsone, their promising step stone into the musical world.
Translated by Gnusball
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