Secret Thirteen Mix 207 - Franck Vigroux

Multi-instrumentalist Franck Vigroux of band Transistor

Photo by Guillaume Belvèze

Franck Vigroux of D'Autres Cordes shares a dynamic and diverse mix, linking avant-garde and industrial to reveal the evocative potential of music. (listen/download now)

Franck Vigroux is a French composer-performer known for his remarkable ability to sculpt a wide range of sounds. Electroacoustic, noise, ambient, modern classical and experimental electronics are some of the genres where Franck has proven his skill over his 15 years of experience with sound design and the underground music scene. Both his solo projects or his collaborations with other musicians such as Mika Vainio (Pan Sonic), Reinhold Friedl, Elliott Sharp, Joey Baron, Zeena Parkins or Ars Nova are undoubtedly paramount in current avant-garde music.

His forward-looking perspective also integrates new media and performing arts. Over the past several years he has been designing interdisciplinary shows, and has toured extensively with the latest ones, Ruines and Tobel, or Centaure with Kurt d’Haeseleer. These shows combine his own musical creations and electroacoustic explorations with terrific and inspiring visuals. Frack’s versatility and intensity also reveals itself through his albums and EPs. During his already long career he has released very different works with many different labels - DAC Records (France), Leaf Label (UK), Cosmo Rhythmatic (Germany) or Monotype Rec (Poland). Indeed, he is one of those multi-instrumentalists born from a pure and balanced interest for constantly exploring new realms and pushing boundaries. For instance, his 2015 reinterpretation of Kraftwerk’s Radioaktivität, entitled “Radioland: Radio-Activity Revisited” [Leaf, 2015] is an outstanding reformulation of one of the most important moments in electronic music. With his solo EP “Centaure” [Cosmo Rhythmatic, 2014], Vigroux put on the table aggressiveness and industrial noise, again demonstrating a jaw-dropping savoir-faire. His collaboration with Vainio is not to be forgotten either. “Peau Froide, Léger Soleil” [Cosmo Rhythmatic, 2015], is a corrosive dark ambient masterpiece. What else could these two masters of modern music compose, but a record that’s as raw as it is freezing cold? Last year was again a hectic year for Franck Vigroux, as it saw the release of his solo album on D’Autres Cordes, titled “Rapport Sur Le Désordre” and a new collaboration with Friedl, “Tobel II”. In addition, Franck has become one of the SHAPE platform artists for 2017.

Having said all of that, it would be easy to explain what Secret Thirteen Mix 207 is about. Yes, it is a compilation that focuses on the immense power of sound itself. It tries to prove that melody, harmony and rhythm are not the only characteristics of music. Here music is described as an arcane but instinctive approximation of the unspeakable, perhaps the most spiritual of human activities - an artificial but still pure and soulful concept, where poetry, sound, vibration, noise, atmosphere, context and physicality have plenty to say. Franck Vigroux sets a storyline that links avant-garde composers, such as Penderesky, Schaeffer or Xenakis, with such legends as Lou Reed, Suicide, and industrial icons - Whitehouse, Throbbing Gristle, Monte Cazzaza, Esplendor Geométrico, and LSD-inspired murderer/composer Bobby Beausoleil. They share this 1 hour and 15 minutes with more recent acts, like Pharmakon, Rrose, Christian Marclay, B L A C K I E, Pixel or Puce Mary. Of course, there is room for Ilpo Vaisanen and Pan Sonic as well.

All in all, what Franck Vigroux tries to express is the true communicative, even linguistic power of music. An inherent ability only this art has, far beyond rules, structures or preconceived standards. An open-minded compositional approach can lead to the creation of suggestive sounds, nuances, colors, environments that have the potential to express almost anything or just act as musique d’ameublement. It depends on where the composer and the listener set the limits.

In Franck Vigroux’s own words

"I think most of the music here is driven first by "the sound" into its physicality, and that’s the link between all of them [the tracks]. Also whether for the instrumental tracks or vocal ones, we can feel the necessity to express something strongly."


1. Christian Marclay - Guitar Drag [A/V work, 2000]
2. B L A C K I E - Joan of Arc [Grindocore Karaoke, 2012]
3. Ilpo Vaisanen - 3’21 [Raster Noton, 1999]
4. Pan Sonic - Slovakian Ruata [Touch, 2006]
5. Techno Animal - Hell [Matador, 2001]
6. Haus Arafna - Satanas and Friends [Galakthorrö, 2003]
7. Xenakis - Concrete PH [1958]
8. Pixel - North Arrow [Raster Noton, 2013]
9. Lou Reed – Metal Machine Music [RCA, 1975]
10. Whitehouse - Why You Never Became a Dancer [Susan Lawly, 2003]
11. Christian Zanesi - Grand Bruit [Metamkine, 1994]
12. Puce Mary - Success [Posh Isolation, 2013]
13. Giancito Scelsi - Quattro pezzi su una nota sola [Accord, 1989]
14. Swans - Time is Money [K422, 1986]
15. Aural Blasphemy - Exile [Force of Nature productions, 2002]
16. Pan Sonic - Parturi [Blast First, 1996]
17. Pharmakon - Crawling on Bruised Knees [Sacred Bones Records, 2013]
18. The Sidewinder - Ballistic Loop [Mille Plateaux, 1996]
19. Bruce Gilbert - Bloodlines [Mute, 1991]
20. Suicide - I Remember [Red Star Records, 1977]
21. Kristof Penderesky - Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima [52 string instruments composition,1960]
22. Throbbing Gristle - Discipline [Fetish, 1981]
23. Bernard Parmegiani – De Naturae Sonorum [GRM, 1975]
24. Esplendor Geométrico - Héroe del Trabajo [Tic Tac, 1982]
25. Pierre Schaeffer - Étude de Bruits [1948]
26. Bobby Beausoleil - Lucifer Rising [Lethal Records, 1980]
27. Jean-Claude Eloy - Shanti [Hors Territories, 2010]
28. Rrose - Waterfall [Eaux, 2013]
29. Einstürzende Neubauten – Kollaps [Zickzack, 1981]
30. Henri Pousseur – Scambi [Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, 1954]
31. Monte Cazzaza - Mark of the Devil [Side Effects, 1996]
32. Unknown Artist - Untitled
33. Franck Vigroux- Stadium [D’Autres Cordes, 2016]

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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