[THEMA021] Arkuarium

by Ark

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about

Monsieur Guillaume Berroyer -- the infamous Ark -- recently underwent a sort of sea change in both his artistic and personal life. Anyone following his career with even a passing interest knows of his long resume (collabs with Pepe Bradock, Cabanne, Dolibox, Mika Weill—releases on Brif, Karat, Circus Company, Perlon...) and has heard tales of the studio fire, the creative energy shifts and all of the stories associated with his frenzied live performances and DJ gigs. Great stories are fun and build mystique, but as most heads know the music more than measures up to the legend. His recent “Arkpocalypse Now” full-length showed a matured craftsman that is not so much waxing introspective as he is distilling his signature sound into something manageable enough to truly adapt to all of his musical tastes.

On this, his first proper EP for Thema, we can hear a lifetime of Berroyer’s music appreciation splayed across both sides. The A side draws from the darker subterranean end of Berroyer’s inner dancefloor with the aquatic meditative prologue, “Arkuarium.” “Baibe” -- a rarity from the vaults -- has a sly groove punctuated by subtle jazz guitar and one sweaty, desperate vocal sample. The glitch-laden “Truckerz” caps it off with an animated dash of driving stripped-down house lunacy. On the flip “Holy Day” greets you with an aural rumination on oppression, expression and fear. Sunny, swooning instrumentation clashes with the speeches and news clips strewn throughout. It works beautifully -- painting what could be a scene of a backyard barbecue party in a dystopian suburb out of Orwell’s “1984”... at once ominous and soothing. The Ark machine is now in full effervescing mode and the vocal detrius is woven into a crazy oblique narrative before our very ears, “Jazzark”... Ark’s interludes have always been an integral part of his EPs. Closing things out is “Hotel” sounds like it may have been recorded during the same session as Holy Day, but has a distinctly more upbeat vibe. We’ll consider this one as an, um... refreshing look at our musical heritage... which is pretty much the basis of the man’s entire discography.

Words by: Chris Malec

credits

released March 28, 2011

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Thema Recordings Brooklyn, New York

Based in Brooklyn & Berlin, Thema Recordings, Thema Digital & Chronicle Records were started and run by Lenny Posso since 2006. Each label specializing in deep explorations within Techno, House, & Experimental dance music from various unique artists around the world. ... more

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