Agar Agar

Elegant Italo-flavour synthpop

Photo: Dillan Rais

Who They?

French duo Armand Bultheel and Clara Cappagli, who met at Paris’ highly-regarded Cergy Pontoise Art & Design School where, the story goes, they first made a track together for their beloved librarian’s leaving present. It went down well, which gave them the impetus to do more. Their debut EP ‘Cardan’ got them noticed by respected French indie Cracki.

Why Agar Agar?

He’s a one-time techno DJ of some repute, she was grounded in the garage-rock scene with Cannery Tower. Their oblique take on alt-pop marries Bultheel’s sophisticated 80s synth expanses with harder basslines that take much from Italo disco. It’s all intelligently recontextualised by Cappagli’s sensually poised, playfully confrontational English-sung vocal style. Recent single ‘Fangs Out’ showcased a savvy unpredictability, taking inspiration from trap music and wilfully avoided pop’s verse-chorus-verse simplicities.

Tell Us More…

Forthcoming debut album, ‘The Dog & The Future’, sees everything they’ve promised come together in a silkily satisfying manner, with Bultheel’s propulsive, electro-heavy keyboards and drum machines (in full giddy flight on ‘Lunatic Fight Jungle’) marrying in genuinely original fashion with Cappagli’s arrestingly languorous delivery. Which, on tracks like ‘Shivers’, impresses with engaging distinction. Elsewhere there’s an ambiguous emotional complexity that offers a welcome dose or two of sweeping, Vangelis-tinged nostalgia. All of which will surely serve to reinforce this clever duo’s growing reputation well beyond their native shores, and get the old “next big thing” tongues a-wagging.

‘The Dog & The Future’ is released by Cracki/Sony

You May Also Like