Borrowing the rhythms of the 1980s, the duo Agar Agar have become the talk of the music industry. Under the powerful and sensual voice of Clara Capaggli, Armand Bultheel’s synthetic sound conjures up the band’s singular universe, blending a wild imagination with a dash of provocation in a perfect sonic cocktail. Agar Agar is now officially the Paris duo to watch.
You met at the Beaux Arts de Cergy and decided to put on a graduation concert, right?
That’s not entirely correct. In actuality, the project began in 2081, shortly after time itself dissolved.
Why turn to music at a time like that?
From the instant time dissolves, any moment becomes every moment. Music becomes interesting because any point in any piece becomes every point in every piece. It’s inspiring.
And yet you have never pursued a career in music?
Not yet, or not completely. We pursue everything that touches on impermanence. And scamming.
In what way did your training at the Beaux-Arts inform your individual and collective work?
We think it develops brain plasticity.
How does your background come through when you make your videos?
It’s hard to say. We have only released one video so far, but the images of naked Sims often come to mind for us. Or a nice feature film by Brian de Palma.
How did you come up with the idea to form a group?
The idea never came. Perhaps the group has not yet been formed. Nothing is permanent.
What are your influences and why are you so attached to the 1980s?
Right now, on the beach of Port Vieux, we draw our inspiration from a little violet shell that is home to a crustacean. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.
Why did you choose to sing in English?
We get that question a lot. But it’s strange, why not sing in English? Why not sing in Russian? There is no reason, we think that song is a form of expression that has nothing to do with one’s mother tongue.
Clara, you had already formed several groups, notably in high school. You did folk music, and then with Garage you moved on to rock influences. Is it safe to say that you have no genre in particular, but instead mix all these musical cultures?
I grew up on rock and Chanson Française, somewhere between Queen and Michel Berger. But I want to explore every grotto. Because I think it’s important to feel outside of the codes while still soaking all of them up.
Your music is a symbiosis of elements created in the moment. Your creation aligns rather well with the Millennial generation, which tends to draw inspiration from every possible source so that nothing fits neatly into categories anymore. Do you think your music follows in this spirit?
We can’t say anything about that for the moment. The manifesto of the Millennial generation is still confidential and we haven’t signed anything.
Who are your biggest musical influences from past and present?
Richard H. Kirk, Richard D. James, The Horrorist, Ceephax A.C., Bernard Fevre, J Hus, Ash Kidd, The Internet, Oneohtrix Point Never, Damso, Alan Vega, John Maus, Chet Baker, Goblin (the list goes on).
Do you feel a kinship with any other groups on the French music scene?
You collaborated with the rap producer Myth Syzer. Do you refuse to limit yourself to any genre?
We don’t care about genres, we just want to ride.
Interview: Saskia Maitrepierre / Photos : Henrike Stahl