Franck Vigroux / Barricades LP

Franck Vigroux - Barricades LP

Original Artwork's fragment

Franck Vigroux is set to release his dystopian Barricades LP on Erototox Decodings, exposing fears and menaces using frantic beats, deep drones, and distortion.


Looking at today’s experimental pioneers, Franck Vigroux has to be among the most prolific and versatile. As he mentions in our interview: “I have no plans, no dogma. Just wishes”. When it comes to sculpting new sounds, Vigroux’s 12” LP, Barricades (released by Erototox Decodings on December 4, 2017), seems to have removed even more constraints.

The story is that Vigroux spent most of the time on his tour constructing what would subsequently evolve into Barricades. Working indefatigably on new tracks in the morning and performing them live in the evening - that is basically how this excellent work was assembled. Recording everything in stereo, using only two tracks, Vigroux aimed to incorporate “the rawness of a ‘live’ recording”. Consequently, the sound here became unmistakably pure and expressive, somewhat reminiscent of artists such as Black Rain, Shapednoise or the late Mika Vainio with whom Franck released Peau Froide, Léger Soleil - one of the Finn’s final works.

‘Countdown’, ‘Steel’ and ‘Concrete Island’ are full of glitches, distorted effects, pulsating beats and heavy kicks. The killer ‘Barricades’ goes even further along the same line, but adding a great deal of intensity and aggression. The brilliantly sculpted drones and evocative layers midway between Lustmord’s dark ambient and the dystopian worlds of J.G. Ballard or Michael Kerbow grant this fascinating album a great measure of eloquence - despite its abstraction, the scenes it evokes are rather clear. Beatless pieces such as H+, La Chair or Rosso build sad, even tragic, soundscapes, and serve as moments of clarity and contemplation in an otherwise dazzling landscape. While this is, uncharacteristically, not a concept album, contemporary strife - dehumanization, pollution, social injustice and other brutal realities of globalization - suggests itself as a theme for every single effect, beat or harmony on Barricades. Unsurprisingly, Franck Vigroux again manages to articulate the unspeakable, yet remain subjective and abstract at the same time.

Due to its live compositional approach, Barricades has a strong sense of instinctiveness and expressiveness. The harsh beats, profound soundscapes and copious fuzz distortion contribute to this immediacy. From dystopian dark-ambient environments to raging, rough industrial structures, this album proposes a dialogue about the uneasy zeitgeist of today. Take a deep breath and dive in!

Watch this superb video for ‘La Chair’, exclusive on Secret Thirteen


1. Countdown
2. Concrete Island
3. La Chair
4. Sabotage
5. H+
6. Barricades
7. Steel
8. Rosso

About Author

Armando Valdés, the man behind Secret Thirteen album reviews, is a translator, music journalist and a member of noise-ambient + spoken word band “Granny On Donkey”.

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