Agents XI – Altarima

Apparently the second part of a trilogy, htough I did not know Agents XI or their label yet. The music is an original mixture of minimal classical and ambient electronic structures, combined with rapped French vocals. “Altarima” is a variation on the Spanish village Altamira, known for its prehistoric caves. In the world view that Agents XI creates with Altarima, modern society is populated by prehistoric beings who put their faith in magic and rites and who are ruled by their instincts. In other worlds, certainly no rational community.

The album starts with the instrumental ‘A toi mon frère’, with a subtle groove which I quite like. Though I’m no fan of rap music at all, I must say that the half-whisphered rapped texts are very enjoyable in the title track. Is it because the vocals are in French, or of the original combination with shimmering electronic sounds? ‘Le grand mystère de la boule noire’ is more subdued and mysterious, the French spoken vocals (in Parisian banlieu style so I’m told) are accompanied by tribal rhythms and subtle orchestral sounds.

Though my French is not trained enough to grasp the lyrical finesses, my instincts enjoy this original album.

artist: Agents XI
label: Génie ou Rien
details: 2005 [GoR0079]