Rising French DJ Worakls Offers a Deep Dive Into Melodic Techno
The producer's latest EP, out now on Hungry Music, serves up serious techno with a light touch.
The French electronic musician Worakls (pronounced "warrackles") made waves last fall when he performed live at ADE's Pleinvrees and StrafWerks showcase in October and then, two weeks later, played with a 40-piece orchestra at Marseill's We Are Together festival. In the months since, fans of his sinister, instrumental techno have been clawing for more.
On Feb. 13, the 25-year-old (real name: Kevin Rodrigues) released Cerisier Blanc, a new two-composition EP on Hungry Music that offers a deeper dive into the patient and serious world of French techno.
In a sea of so-called 'future house' producers, Worakls is a deep dive. The builds are patient, the bass is thick but not aggressive, and the tingly keyboard melodies are more ominous than euphoric. Both tracks on the EP, though different in structure and tone, are full of focused, nervous energy.
"I wrote the whole structure in one night," he says of 'Toi,' beginning with a melody and then layering in mallets, electronic synths, ambient flutes and sirens. "I wanted the listener to go through a lot of feelings."
At times, the track takes on a tone similar to Popof's "Serenity," as spotted by a few sharp Soundcloud users, if Popof's grinding industrial sounds were replaced with beachy steel drums. But don't size him up too quickly; while Worakls certainly deals in elements of tropical house, his approach is worlds away from the subgenre's more literal interpretors Klingande or Thomas Jack. It's subtle and serious, like London's Max Cooper or fellow Hungry Music cohort N'To.
After early training in classical piano, Worakls experimented with rock, jazz and bossa nova in bands as a teenager. "I wanted to try electronic music when I discovered that the possibilities were infinite," he says. After high school, he studied economics at a university in Paris but left after a semester to pursue music full-time. These days, he's known to incorporate live keyboard during his sets, as he did at ADE.
After he tours France in March, he'll head to the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Exact dates will be announced soon.