Aril Brikha (born in 1976 in Tehran, Iran) is a producer currently residing in Stockholm, Sweden, who initially discovered electronic music by listening to the likes of Depeche Mode, Front 242 and Jean Michel Jarre before discovering the more futuristic sounds of artists like Detroit's Robert Hood and Underground Resistance.
After not receiving any response in his native country he sent a demo to some of his favourite record labels stateside. Before he knew it, Derrick May released The Art Of Vengeance EP, featuring the track "Groove La' Chord", on his Fragile record label in 1998, and was playing it all around the world.
This was followed by the release of the Deeparture In Time album also on Transmat.His live sets have been highly appreciated all the way from DEMF in Detroit to Fabric in London, with his take on Detroit Techno adding special soul and funk to it.
In 1998 Aril Brikha reacquainted the world with deep techno soul, as his record Groove La Chord crossed generic boundaries. Is it techno? Is it house? Is it deep house? It's everything and nothing. Groove La Chord is simply timeless.
No one was more surprised about the success of Groove La Chord than Brikha himself - after all, he'd originally presented it on his demo as a potential B-side. Two years after he recorded Groove La Chord, Brikha heard it in a club for the first time - Derrick May pulled it out in Chicago.
Aril then realised it was a good track. The renegade always walks alone. As a cultural exile in Sweden, Aril Brikha has never been one to conform. Born in Iran with Assyrian ancestry, Brikha emigrated to the Scandinavian country at three.
Brikha demonstrated his musicality early - with his parents nurturing his talent. At seven, Aril was given a keyboard and his father, a pianist, taught him to play. Before long, Aril was picking up notes by ear.
In his early teens he developed an interest in electronic music acts - such as Depeche Mode, Front 242 and Jean Michel Jarre. Brikha obtained an Atari and started to use a sequencer and, after initially emulating the music of others, he began composing his own at 16.
Friends who heard his material told him it was 'Detroit techno'. Brikha had no idea what that was - and so they played him records by Robert Hood and Berlin's Basic Channel. At a time when the Swedish techno sound was starting to be identified with minimal, loop-based 'DJ tools', Brikha was creating cerebral, emotional and spiritual electronic music.
No one wanted to listen. Brikha disseminated his earliest material on Swedish imprints - Dunkla, Plump, and Placktown - but realizing that his music wasn't what the local labels were seeking, he looked for fresh outlets.
Aril, now residing in Stockholm, obtained the addresses of three independent companies - among them Derrick May's Transmat Records - and posted out demos. As it happened, Transmat contacted Brikha and, as a consequence, his Art Of Vengeance EP (with Groove La Chord) was issued on its sister label, Fragile, in 1998.
A year on, Aril followed it up with the LP Deeparture In Time, a collection of evocative grooves - like the intricate Embrace, transcendent Otill and the electro-funk Setting Sun - gathered over a six year period and laid down with just one keyboard, a drum machine and an Atari.
It drew exultant reviews. Since forging an alliance with Transmat, Brikha, celebrated as the new star of deep techno, has toured solidly with his live show, playing everywhere from the inaugural DEMF (Detroit Electronic Music Festival) to in-vogue clubs like London's Fabric and Tokyo’s Air and Yellow.
With a large gap in releases Brikha has recently reemerged from a production hiatus with a few select releases on some of Europe's most forward thinking and popular electronic labels showcasing the width and breadth of his production style; On Belgium's historic Music Man label Aril's sound progressed with a more in your face, harder production but still maintaining that classic Detroit sound.
On Germany's trendsetting minimal Kompakt Brikha's 'Winter Ep' took yet another turn with two tracks that were destined for the bigger clubs and much play from Tongy and others making them massive peak time performers.
And finally on highly desirable German imprint Poker Flat this time Brikha was again destined to find a new wider audience with the upfront, plastic percussion and gnarly synths - Maximal sounds and Minimal production.
Fast forward to summer 2007 and the long time awaited releases on Peacefrog bring both Brikha and Peacefrog back to where they begun with two 12” and then a full length album showcasing Aril’s classic sound of Detroit techno / house with elements of his recent productions.
With haunting strings, filtered chords and synth pads adorning the hypnotic beats, Ex Machina transcends dance music’s ever multiplying genre’s and brings back the old feeling of making us just want to dance.
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