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Ricardo VillalobosThé Au Harem D'Archimède

Tracklist

Hireklon14:46
Serpentin9:46
For All Seasons4:29
Théorème D'Archimède6:54
Hello Halo8:09
Temenarc 26:02
Temenarc 17:27
Stereobox5:13
Miami8:58
True To Myself14:16

Credits (3)

Versions

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    Version DetailsData Quality
    Cover of Thé Au Harem D'Archimède, 2004, CDThé Au Harem D'Archimède
    CD, Album, Digipak
    Perlon – PERL43CDGermany2004Germany2004
    Cover of Thé Au Harem D'Archimède, 2004-05-11, VinylThé Au Harem D'Archimède
    3×12", 33 ⅓ RPM, Album
    Perlon – PERL 43Germany2004Germany2004
    Recently Edited
    Cover of Thé Au Harem D'Archimède, 2004, CDThé Au Harem D'Archimède
    CD, Album, Promo, Cardboard
    Perlon – PERL 43CD PROMOGermany2004Germany2004
    Recently Edited
    Thé Au Harem D'Archimède
    3×12", 33 ⅓ RPM, Album, Promo
    Perlon – PERL 43Germany2004Germany2004
    New Submission
    Cover of Thé Au Harem D'Archimède, 2010-11-10, CDThé Au Harem D'Archimède
    CD, Album, Reissue, Digipak
    Perlon – PERL43CDJPJapan2010Japan2010
    New Submission

    Recommendations

    Reviews

    • Chicagobass's avatar
      Chicagobass
      I am coming to Villalobos as someone who was born in '99 when he was prolific. Randomly heard The Au Harem playing over the PA system at my local record shop in Chicago and was hypnotized. That was my gateway into house, techno, Perlon, and the wonderful world of Villalobos.

      Now I own both the CD and LP and love both so much. The LP version of Hireklon is way more texturally dense and, in my opinion, consuming than the CD version.

      Overall, it was serendipity in the true sense of that word that I discovered this album. Introduced me to a beautiful album, mesmerizing genre, and a whole new world. While there are great perlon tracks, this is an entire album that is as engaging and intellectual as classical music (to borrow a concept from the Pitchfork review).
      • ion_ion's avatar
        ion_ion
        Edited 2 years ago
        Temenarc 1 is something I would listen to if I would ride my horse into battle. The groove coming out of those drums and snares is out of this world.
        • Alex_Celler's avatar
          Alex_Celler
          Edited 6 months ago
          If Alcachofa is the album that changed the course of House & Techno music, redefining the genres for years to come, then Thé Au Harem D'Archimède is the album which propelled them to a different dimension of possibilities and proved that Ricardo is simply on a level of his own, light years ahead. If anyone has doubts about his level of mastery, a careful listening session of this LP will provide definitive answers.

          But then again, such advanced and enigmatic productions, such intricate musical language might not be grasped or understood by every single electronic music fan out there and that’s fair enough. There’s an inherent number of hidden layers in Ricardo’s beat programming, in his soundscapes, melodies, textures and the slowly evolving sonic background of his music. It's much more than simply the sum of the parts. Thus, if you like your beats mostly chunky and straight up, then this LP might not be for you.

          Open and closed hi hats are usually the main elements driving classic house and techno. A 909 or 808 typically provides these hihats, along with snares, claps and kickdrums. They make up the characteristic sound palette of electronic dance music, which many of us love. Here, Ricardo is completely brushing these sounds aside, effectively cutting ties with the Roland x0x tradition. He then presents us with an impossible recipe of syncopated modular grooves, intertwined with polyrhythmic Latin percussion and melodious synth lines, all playing in tandem with plenty of swing. Now, add to this a fair amount of effects and his incredibly intricate arrangements: The result is nothing less than an authentic, ingenious and modern take on the genre, full of funk, poise and shuffle.

          Was this a conscious choice (to avoid using standard 909 / 808 sounds) or did it just come out as it did? Also, how do you make music that complex without ever sounding overproduced? If you ask him, he'd reply (in typical Ricardo fashion) probably something like ''I don't know, i am just making it''.

          Hireklon and Serpentine Tale are two of the ‘’less daunting’’ tracks in the LP, although I find this term somewhat inaccurate; they are both masterpieces. The guitar solo on the CD version of Hireklon is a homage to serialism and twelve tone music (as at least a part of it appears to be lacking a tonal centre) while Serpentin’s bassline is slowly pitch shifting, creating a simple but catchy riff. The drum programming in this track is quite frankly as good as drum programming gets.

          The rest of the tracks are some of the most fascinating and superb (released) compositions from Ricardo to this day. What can one say for Miami, how good is his drum programming? But, wait a second, there are no actual drums in the track. It’s a concoction of modular zaps, clicks and synth lines commingled and stitched up to perfection. How can you describe Theoreme D’Archimede? Genre defiant is the first thing that comes to mind; an inherent characteristic of truly innovative and ground-breaking music. How do the inconspicuous synth lines in the opening of the same track evolve into a fully fledged tune? So elegantly and so naturally. The same for both Temenarcs: Hihats and Snares give way to sound design and textures, which instead provide the driving force. True to Myself is the perfect ending, a melding of Ricardo’s two big influences: Jazz and Latin.

          Ricardo has mentioned in interviews his appreciation for Autechre and their music. He has said that he tries to marry their approach in sound design and production with house music. And although Autechre themselves were interestingly not so prepared to receive the compliment (according to their 2009 Fact Magazine interview), who can say that in this album Ricardo didn’t succeed?
          • swil.wilson's avatar
            swil.wilson
            I just purchased the repress of Thé Au Harem D'Archimède, and while the music is excellent, I found that the record is cut in such a way that it is very prone to skipping. It appears to have to been mastered a bit too hot, as the loudest, bassiest portions tend to send the needle flying. I had to increase the tracking force on my turntable a few degrees just to get it to play through.

            However, I am really enjoying the longer versions of the tracks. I've previously owned the CD, and it's cool, but the way Villalobos expands classics like "Hireklon" is pretty incredible and hypnotic.

            Enjoy the album, but beware of the vinyl pressing.
            • dclambert's avatar
              dclambert
              First of all, this guy is a production virtuoso. Villalobos is in the same league as Alex Patterson and Richard D. James.

              This release is no exception to his brilliant catalogue of music. The album is bookended by the two best tracks: "hireklon" and "true to myself." They are two of the most hypnotizing electonic music tracks I've heard.

              While tech-house and especially minimalistic techno can begin to eat away at your consciousness after a while, Villalobos's work is a ray of sunshine.

              In the case of this album though, that ray of sunshine is warm but dark. These tracks wreak of menace and brilliance. Highly, highly recommended.

              ps. If you are like me and rate the tracks on your albums, here's a tip: the worst track is "Hello Halo"--but since he's so far above most other producers, it's still pretty good.
              • pinpoint23's avatar
                pinpoint23
                Edited 17 years ago
                I was somewhat surprised upon recieving my LP that the version of "Hireklon" is very different from the CD edition of this album. The style is more abstract and meandering, and alas does not include the textured, reverberated handclaps of the CD version. Frankly I'm a bit disappointed with this remixed "Hireklon" and would much rather play the CD version at a party.
                • AntShaw's avatar
                  AntShaw
                  Edited 17 years ago
                  This is a flat out brilliant release. It has the classic Villalobos feel. But, if I needed to add an additional adjective to that it would be 'experimental.' He starts off with some stormers in Hireklon and Serpentin. He hadds some interesting strings in Hireklon to complete the piece. There is no 'formula' in place for any of these tracks and they each have a mind of their own.
                  • royal618's avatar
                    royal618
                    Edited 18 years ago
                    Brilliant. The use of different instruments in this is somewhat unusual, ecletic if you will. However, it's the sound of the harp in Hireklon that is the most amazing. The layers of sounds, the reverbed hand claps that sound like real hand claps, not from an 808.

                    This is minimalism for years to come.
                    • enrique's avatar
                      enrique
                      Edited 19 years ago
                      I think that Ricardo Villalobos has made one of the best albums so far this year, I'm referring to "The Au Harem..." This is a new reading of funk. Sure, I know that some won't dig Ricardo's latter complex beat programming and texture layering, but I think this is seriously great stuff, intended both for mind and feet, succeeding at reachin' your soul, and with a very own sound, which of course is highly remarkable these days. I love the aquatic texture of the latin percussion and appreciate he's so far from the boring "tribal" house scene by adding extra hot sauce to his glitchy afro-caribbean techno. A true musician. And yes, IT makes you move.

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                      • Avg Rating:4.54 / 5
                      • Ratings:623
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