French, critically acclaimed, post-pop duo Aufgang is back with a sultry new single that is taking a surprising futuristic and euphoric turn without giving up their hybrid and sophisticated musical roots.
Born from the successful alliance of two strong personalities, Aufgang “blends piano, live drums and techno-inspired electronics into invigorating displays of virtuosity, which evoke the club and the conservatory, without really belonging to either one” says Pitchfork.
Songwriter and pianist Rami Khalife transcends both the traditional training he received as a student at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York and his Eastern roots – he grew up in a family of musicians and his father is a major artist in the Arab world. Drummer and producer Aymeric Westrich is an adept of DIY culture and brings along his knowledge of urban and electronic cultures, which he developed through notable collaborations with artists such as Cassius and Phoenix to name but a few.
Looking for inspiration in various artistic trends such as the disco sound of legendary Larry Levan or the poetry of diva Oum Kalthoum, these free independent spirits have shape up their new sound in between Paris, Beyrouth and New York, in reaction to the frenzy of big cities, as if they wanted to prevent the latter from eating their freedom away.
Summer proves it in a glittering manner. The freedom here lies in the disco treatment: a string section recorded at varying speeds and in different octaves — a throwback to the golden years of disco — gives an irresistible brilliance to the whirlwind of keyboards, drums and vocals. Clara Luciani, ex-chanteuse of the French surf-pop band La Femme (transformed for the occasion into an accomplice with a sirens’ song), sings her head off, making us drop the anchors of convention as she clears our path towards the light. Using Aufgang’s typical mirror-effects, Huriya — an Arab word meaning “liberty” — reflects that same quest on the Oriental side. Sustained by his solid kick and rhythms in chorus, Aymeric Westrich’s exhortation “Give me my freedom” rises into the warm winds of the Arab-like vocalizing declaimed by Rami Khalife at the summit of his pianistic illuminations. This piece is a cry destined to shatter the torpor created for us by a society either authoritarian or deceitful.
This is the dawning of a new era for Aufgang. This music is a unique and varied experience highlighting the leanings of its creators, who have decided to break down the barriers between the East and the West and take us on a colourful and emotional magic journey.
“An exhilarating one that will instantly demand repeat listens” said Musicomh.