Don’t call it a comeback – sixteen years and a few hundred thousand sold copies after his internationally successful debut album “Newcomer”, Llorca plants exciting new seeds with his soulful sophomore effort “The Garden”.
“The French Touch” excited listeners in the late Nineties and early Naughties. Combining influences from Soul, Jazz, Latin or African music with extremely elegant electronics, artists like St. Germain, Laurent Garnier, Daft Punk, or Llorca delivered their deep delights to sophisticated audiences in clubs and at parties around the world. Now, the man christened Lludovic Llorca (also known as Art of Tones) steps back on the scene with a decidedly different sound: gritty grooves matured in Funk, sensational songwriting and production, topped by a host of amazing voices, singers of high and mighty caliber, some known to many like Georg Levin of Berlin based Sonar Kollektiv, Parisian Soul Queen Laetitia Dana, Drum’n’Bass-Crooner Frank H. Carter III from the UK or Brooklynite Halley Hiatt, as well as some newcomers like Mawogani Wood, Stefan Frank, Sapele, and Michael Barthelemy. “The Garden” is a treasure trove of melodic seeds, growing with each listen, blooming from good songs into instant classics – surely this is Llorca’s masterpiece.
Having made his home in the Occitan region in the deep south of France, close to the Spanish border and far away from the hustle and bustle of Paris, Llorca wisely decided to direct his artistic career according to the paths taken in his personal life. At one and in agreement with his inspirations, the internationally renowned DJ, producer, and songwriter built his studio in Perpignan; more of a refuge than a fortress of solitude, it has become his sacred place to make music the way he always wanted to, a soundscape incorporating his many musical passions from Soul to Funk to Electronica or Deep House and back. After the success of “Newcomer” in 2001, released on the legendary label F Communications (Mr.Oizo, Laurent Garnier, Saint-Germain, et al), Llorca embarked on three years of touring with his band, appearing in the best clubs and on the biggest festivals around the world. Taking a step away from the limelight and into the clubs with his Electro-alter ego “Art of Tones”, this self-taught lover of Disco- and Soul-music from the 70s who at 14 was making his first foray into music on a Commodore 64, dedicated an incredible fifteen years to making this second album. Destined to make you dance, sweat, move your feet and engage your mind, the ten tracks that finally made it onto “The Garden” certainly show the artistic maturity and relevance of the musical mastermind behind them.
Leaving the world of loungefied Jazz and sensory House music of his first album behind, “The Garden” dazzles the listener with the purity of its songwriting, the deepness of its lyrics, the elegance of its string arrangements and the funkafied mastery of its bass lines (which we thought had already hit the mark on “Newcomer”). “The Garden” also charms with the natural way each invited voice becomes one with the music, then, after a few listens, it all becomes increasingly addictive and reveals a wide range of emotions – from joyful as in “You” or “All We Ever Have” to sensuous, as in “Addiction Days,” “Wonder Why” or “All Right”, just to name a few. This whole is certainly larger than the sum of its parts, intertwining and combining into one mind blowing and breathtaking suite. Welcome to Chapter 2 of Llorcas musical storybook, welcome to “The Garden”
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