Igorrr and Otto Von Schirach Live Review from Manchester Club Academy, 15th April 2022

Igorrr Band Photo Feb 2022

Noise masters Igorrr recently descended upon UK shores for a short run of shows. Rock Sins was present at the Manchester date of the tour to bring our readers a full run down of the action.

Otto Van Schirach (5) has been making music since 2001. He is a one-man act, screaming from behind DJ decks and a Macbook. He looks like an escaped Capitol rioter, replete with fur headband, and he loves two things: his home town of Miami, and triangles. 

He opens up his set with a high pitched voice modulator and announces he is here to ‘clean [our] sins,’ before sliding into a bassy, throbbing breakcore set. The distinctions between individual songs are fairly loose: they are punctuated with obscure horror movie samples and rattling, chopped up repetitions. Very now and then Otto himself joins the fray, offering up scattershot screams or half-rapped verses. His songs, his delivery, and his outfit are all so ridiculous it is hard to tell where the line between auditory extremity and satire lies. 

Surely Otto cannot be serious when he screams about the Bermuda triangle? He keeps it straight faced, repeating the name of the shape upwards of a hundred times over the space of the five minute dance tune. Over scattershot IDM icey synths and drum n bass percussion he exercises his demons: literally, as the next song is about poltergeists and demons. Then we turn to the Jurassic period: “Manchester, do you know how to dance like pterodactyls? ‘Coz! this! song! is! about! Pterodactyls!’ After this rousing call to arms, he launches into a bass-driven banger all about the flying beasts – he manages to throw in some nonsense about chakras, too. The whole thing is either genius or pathetic: I’m still not exactly sure which interpretation is correct.

After a short break, the headline act emerges: Igorrr (8) (Gautier Serre) made his name with 2012’s Hallelujah and the infamous ‘Vegetable Soup,’ a rackety, jaunting track that combined samples of chickens with world instrumentation and black metal. Today, however, Igorrr is a full band, recruiting Sylvain Bouvier  on drums, Aphrodite Patoulidou  as an opera vocalist, JB Le Bail on vocals, Martyn Clement as a guitarist and ‘Patrick’ on piano: today, most of the band are present, and the show is all the better for it. 

Only one song from Hallelujah makes the cut, with a large focus on the band’s latest album ‘Spirituality and Distortion’, with another seven taken from Savage Sinusold;’ these more mature offerings position Aphrodite front and centre; her haunting vocals shimmer over powerful backing electronics, ripping guitar lines and baroque-inspired piano. Igorrr himself, AKA Guitier Serre, is a commanding presence, leading this rag-tag experimental troupe through dips and dives in sonic extremity. 

It is clear from the start that this is anything but a normal metal gig. The grindcore aspects of Igorrr’s sound are punishing, that is a given. What is surprising is just how well the other aspects: the Indian strings, the opera vocals, the synths and strings, how well all of that blends together into a sonic disasterpiece over the speakers in the tiny Club Academy, that is what makes an Igorrr show outstanding. 

Where Otto Von Schirach lives on the knife edge of parody, Igorrr are an act inimitable in auditory diversity, there is nothing on earth quite like an Igorrr show. The bizarre time signatures, the strange sample triggers and clashing vocal patterns are distinctly artistic; if you can get on board with the soundscapes and dive into the bizarre world that the French musician creates, you’re ready to see the whole thing expand and devolve in the live setting. Do not miss Igorrr. Their live performance is spectacular and wide ranging

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