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ZEAL & ARDOR’S MANUEL GAGNEUX – A MUSICAL TINKERER

One of the most important scientists to have ever lived, Sir Isaac Newton and the Apple is a classic story on ingenuity. For those who might not know, Newton was sat down when all of a sudden an Apple fell from the tree and hit his head. Inspiring the idea that created what we now know in the modern day as gravity. Winding further back in humanity’s timeline to the ancient Greeks, the people proclaimed Gallileo to be stark raving mad for claiming that instead of being flat, that the earth was in fact a sphere. Not quite understanding the sheer level of intellectual ingenuity put forward people are often scared by change.

In the modern day of 2017, experimentation is needed now more than ever, enter one Manuel Gagneux. Swiss born, the man is the very idea of neutral. Having released his debut album Devil Is Fine under the band name Zeal & Ardor, I’ll be the first to admit that at first glance I didn’t think much to it. However repeat listens of this entirely different sound, think if Django were a Burzum fan, it hooked me entirely. Playing with the very idea of genre, African Slave Music, Electronica and of course Black Metal are all explored in the album’s 25 minutes. Devil Is Fine is a veritable smorgasbord of genre titillating ideas that only a musical Galileo could think of. What though was going through Gagneux’s mind when putting together material that lies in allegiance with no real genre. Making his London debut last week, Zeal & Ardor provided a flying visit to The Underworld where I was lucky enough to quizz the man on his inspiration for the idea, combining genres and cultural appropriation.

Zeal & Ardor’s brand new album, Devil Is Fine is out now via MVKA Music. 

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