Horror Inc

“Aurore”

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LabelHauntCat. No.HAUNT003
FormatEXCL12"COrders fromTue, 21 Sep 2010
PricePlease sign in to see price

Review

After a five year production hiatus, Montreal micro house legend Marc Leclair (aka Akufen ,Horror inc.) emerges from the fog to present some of his most prolific work to date. The Moody and Dark side of Marc’s musical persona called Horror inc. has previously appeared on labels Revolver Canada and Germany’s Perlon and the projects hauntingly beautiful house tracks have always been received with critical acclaim. Aurore is the title track that leads things off with a super groovy percussive bubbler that builds up to a beautiful arrangement of delayed guitar and various strings. An epic build that leaves you in a bliss of tear jerking strings and french horn. Incredible. Cre?puscule drags the listener deeper into the shadow with it’s tightly woven layers of live jazz elements pulling you into a twisted labyrinth of plucked strings. A cinematic, moody affair that could easily find it’s way into a Hitchcock or David Lynch film. Last but definitely not least comes Dans La Nuit. A killer groove backed with the Horror inc. Signature spooky child toy like sequence underlying the entire track. A synth creeps in and build things up to a boiling point where things break and desolve into a desperate moment of disillusion and mystery. Then when you least expect it the percussion and bass bring you back to a state wonder and delight rarely found in house music today. How Marc LeClair ties all these elemnts together in the last minutes of the track is pure magic. Horror inc. is back from the shadow to deliver three tracks of moody, melodic, genius.

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DJ Mag: “Marc Leclair (a.k.a Akufen) is back with some of his spooky side-project stuff. The glitchy sound snippets and funky basslines are in place, but the Horror Inc material always pitches for a more evocative spot than the Akufen sound. Languid strings permeate the whole EP, creating something quite moving in the process. A cut above the rest as one would hope, it’s good to have the master of micro-funk back. ”

Fwd DJ (FWD): “Horror Inc. is the alias of Candian microhouse legend Marc Lelair, who many have come to know across the years as Akufen. An innovative producer who helped paved the way for the technique known as micro-sampling in the early 00’s, Lelair has remained fairly quiet the rest of the decade, seeming as if he disappeared from the music scene completely. However, he’s now back with his newest productions in nearly five years, scaling back from the microhouse sound he became known for and trying his hand at a jazzier, gothic sound. “Aurore” begins with an unassuming, yet hypnotic tech-house groove that eventually paves the way for beautiful, cascading guitars that are straight lifted from some Cocteau Twins record in the 80’s. Filled to the brim with chiming reverb and delay, it’s become noticeable that more and more techno producers are becoming indebted to the sounds of 80’s dream-pop. Its wistful magnificence adds the perfect emotive touch to contemporary techno, it’s a wonder why it hadn’t been pilfered before the 00’s. Lelair proves that he is no one-trick pony though with his new, expansive sound. On “Crépuscule”, those whimsical guitars return, but he additionally mixes in elements of live jazz drumming that provides the track an organic feel. At its best, it recalls the cinematic affairs of mid-90’s trip-hop, leaving one hoping that the snippets of hushed females vocals would blossom into a full-blown vocal performance. The closer “Dan La Nuit” appears to be similarly driven by live drumming, or what at least sounds like the sampling of live drums. It initially arrives as a more direct tech-groove house over twinkling synths that add a childlike splendor. However, midway through the track, it dissolves into stuttering jazz drumming, paired with upright bass, mournful horns, and a tense string section. It’s amazing how Lelair combines all of these elements into a harmonious whirlwind of sound in the track’s closing minutes. Lelair may have disappeared on the EDM community for the last 5 years, but he returns to prove that the wait was well worth it on this EP. While using techno and house as a mere backbone for his productions, he allows live instruments to play freely over them to build the tracks into something far grander than your average dancefloor fodder. These are songs that you don’t merely want to hear a dj playing in some swanky lounge, but a full band playing in gorgeous harmony together.”

Mathias Kaden (FAT): “its just a beautiful and amazing record from marc! why we all have to wait always so long for good music of him;-))))) please moreeeeeeee ”

Resident Advisor: “Expectations are the worst, ain't they? Perhaps that's why for his first piece of wax in a good long while, Marc Leclair, AKA Akufen, has chosen to revive the Horror Inc. moniker. Despite not having have the sort of scalpel-sharp studio antics of past releases under his other—more well-known—moniker, Aurore is as filled with twilit shadows and moody atmospherics as either of his past Horror Inc. 12-inches. Where it's different is almost everywhere else. The title track leads in with the sharply-edited percussion he'll hopefully always be known for, but it's a bit of a wind-up as you'll realize when the shimmer of a languidly-strummed and slowed-down guitar intrudes over the crisp, complex, punchy drums. Wait, is that a piano? A haunting Balkan fiddle? The well-lit, repetitive melody echoed across various forms of natural-sounding instrumentation offer a hint of what's coming, but they're couched enough in the familiar forms that you might be a bit surprised when "Crépuscule" drops and you find yourself in a '40s psychodrama. Twisting through the same medieval back-alleys and turning around the same dark corners as "In My Garden" from 2004, but stripped of all the predictable, thumpable trappings of house, "Crépuscule" is a clearly electronic record that sounds otherwordly in a very non-electronic way. If that sounds vague, it should—this isn't music that can be described in terms of microgenre or set placement. It's a Dario Argento soundtrack played by a Gallic jazz quartet raised on a diet of hard bop and Simenon novels, gracefully banging out a noir mood-piece only occasionally interrupted by the spooky DJ with his dark, desperate samples and cut-ups. "Dans La Nuit" is a bit of a return to the old boom-clack boom-boom-clack, with a staggeringly pretty glockenspiel/bell/harpsichord refrain that dominates the proceedings even when the briefly-seen funky electrobass meanders through. But then midway through it veers acutely into an acoustic piano-led nocturne out of which the drums are rather dramatically dropped to showcase (you guessed it) the sound of our jazz combo from "Crépuscule," laying down a Chico Hamilton back-beat for some muscular stand-up bass, a warm trumpet and the return of those glorious bell tones. The fusion is a slightly stiff but well-plotted one, and it makes for a perfect October record.”

Sebo K (Mobilee): “i've always been a fan of the horror inc project! this one makes no exception! full support from me.”

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