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Solving The Algorithm

The French producer/DJ,
who mashes electronica
with metal, on his new
album ‘Octopus4’

Anurag Tagat Jun 03, 2014
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Remi Gallego aka The Algorithm. Photo: Courtesy of Holdtight PR

Rémi Gallego aka The Algorithm. Photo: Courtesy of Holdtight PR

Octopus4 has its tentacles spread across the globe ”“ it has music created by French electro-metal producer/DJ Rémi Gallego aka The Algorithm, has been released on a British label [metal label Basick], featuring artwork by an Indian visual artist [Gaurav Basu aka Acid Toad, who is also the vocalist of death/thrash metal band Inner Sanctum] based on Japanese motifs. Gallego laughs when we point this out. Says the 24-year-old who went from computer programming to becoming a DJ, “I really like the idea ”“ bringing diversity into music is something that I enjoy doing. If I can do it involving people from all over the world, it’s perfect.”

Due this month, Octopus4 is Gallego’s second full-length release after he gained prominence in 2012 for his debut album Polymorphic Code, which mashed up dub­step and electronica with prog metal, with help from drummer Mike Malyan [from UK prog metal band Monuments]. The second album is much more diverse in “styles and sounds,” according to Gallego. What Octo­pus4 will certainly help Gallego achieve is reaching out to the crossover crowd of met­alheads and electronica fans. Anything from “Synthesiz3r,” from the new album to his 2012 single “Tr0jans” prove that bass drops and breakdowns are not so dif­ferent after all. Gallego says a lot of fans at his shows tell him how they began appreciating elec­tronica more after listening to The Algorithm. Says Gallego, “I think it’s very rewarding for me, because it opens people’s minds. It’s exactly what I wanted to do.”

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In terms of concepts and sto­ries, Gallego mines his experi­ence as a programmer and an avid fan of video games such as Legend of Zelda and the Final Fantasy series to include Inter­net jargon and pop culture ref­erences. This time around, Gal­lego’s muse is actor Will Smith. Says Gallego about the concept behind Octopus4, “It’s a story based on a computer virus that turns people into Will Smith. It’s just humor and being random. People enjoy it, so I continue doing it.” When reminded that Will Smith had a pretty big music career of his own, Gallego doesn’t necessarily say he would remix any of the Fresh Prince’s songs or even sample them. Gallego’s still a met­alhead at heart, though, first inspired by mathcore band The Dillinger Escape Plan into making similarly chaotic music on his computer in 2009. Says Gallego, “I know a bunch of electronic artists I really enjoy and would like to tour with, but I’m not into mainstream electronica music because I don’t know what I’d do out there, playing to that crowd.”

For his live gigs, The Algo­rithm is anything but a DJ set ”“ Gallego twists and turns knobs at light speed while Malyan adds drums. While a live guitar­ist ”“ Max Michel ”“ was added to the band in April last year, Gal­lego has now taken over playing guitars live as well as on select tracks. Vocals are not something Gallego has made room for in his work, but he’s keen on swim­ming in the other direction and cutting a three or four-track EP comprising guest vocalists from metal and electronica acts.

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To promote Octopus4, The Algorithm has shows lined up in Europe in June and is cur­rently planning a UK show to launch the album. Gallego also mentions he’s received offers to play in India. Says Gallego, “We got a bunch of offers from India but noth­ing is really sorted. I’m sure it’ll happen at some point.”

This article appeared in the June 2014 issue of ROLLING STONE India.

Listen to Octopus4 here

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