Akufen is Marc Leclair, a Montreal Canadian who makes minimal house. His closest equivalent is the UK’s Matthew Herbert. This means moments of genius are interspersed with stuff that is either phenomenally dull or makes you want to stab your ears with a pencil.

It is therefore appropriate that Leclair’s pseudonym comes from the French word for tinnitus (ringing of the ears), acouphène. Leclair has also gone under the pseudonyms Horror Inc., David Scott, Nekufa, and Anna Kaufen.

On his beginnings, in his own words:

“My very first official project was 1995’s Noiz Slack-r, a very experimental project in the vein of Aphex Twin, or Alec Empire. These people are the foundations of my style; I was mainly working in an experimental way, trying to find new approaches and ideas. Then the whole house thing happened to me, I would say, by mistake. I was caught by my own trick. When I started making house in 1996 or 1997, it was more as a joke. A friend of mine and myself did a project – we got the title, Juice Box, from a porno movie that we picked at random from a magazine – and I found that I really liked the rhythm, I loved the shuffle, and it gave me a refreshing alternative to redundant techno music.”

His 2002 release entitled My Way (Force Inc.) introduced his concept of “microsampling”, which was essentially a way of using extremely small and short clips of samples as a key musical element. Marc collected hours of audio material from AM/FM and shortwave programs that he fragmented into minute voices, blips, and other unrecognizable bits that were then applied to catchy, dance floor friendly house tracks.

In 2005 Marc Leclair returned with the release of Musique pour 3 femmes enceinte (Mutek – his own label) which, according to a press release “…proves that he had more than one card up in his sleeve. With the skilful integration of instrumental tones and outer-space noises, he built extended and dreamlike pieces that defy time.” For monoglots, the title translates as Music for 3 Pregnant Women. The album was conceived (boom boom! Oh please youself) while Leclair’s wife and several of her friends were all pregnant at the same time. Over the course of album, each labeled according to a point in the pregnancy (“64th Day,” “205th Day,” etc.), Leclair attempts to convey the moods of the experience. New dads eh! He has performed the piece at London’s Tate Modern and festivals such as Sonar.

Akufen – Deck The House (Herbert Stops Like This Mix)

Massive Attack – Special Cases (Akufen Remix)

Akufen – Train To Barcelona [Highly recommended, a neo-balearic beauty]

Akufen – Mary Jane Kelley

Akufen website

Buy CDs

~ by acidted on April 18, 2008.

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