“Aglaia Is Always Wrong” is a one-man project, formed in 2009 in the suburbs of Αthens, Greece. Its sound takes us to the fleeting borderline between noise and industrial aesthetics, staying true to its idiosyncratic style, that was formed after a long research in the compositional process of music-making, experimentation with sampling, field recordings and tape manipulation.
“Forgetful Diver” is the first full-length album by “Aglaia Is Always Wrong” and is representative of its enigmatic music. On these three compositions, “Aglaia is always wrong” managed to combine a potent combination of various pre-recorded sounds and loops that gradually become more ferocious and noisy, revealing to us an urban industrialised soundscape that is filtered through a cinematic point of view.
The first and the last track (“Tea And Blood” and “Dfalter”) were recorded in 2015 and they are its more recent examples of experimentation. The second track (“I Mavri Laterna” translates as “The black lantern”) was produced in 2012 and is one of its earlier recordings, that is very characteristic because of the vocal sample, taken from the “Chetyre” movie.
“Forgetful Diver” release is a limited edition of 60 copies.
Almost a decade into his career as a sound artist, there’s still precious little information to be found on whoever is behind Aglaia is Always Wrong. We know he’s male, based in Greece and a member of the free-rock duo Svounia, otherwise… well, that’s about all. Working alone he uses tape manipulations, queasy electronics and vocal samples to construct squirming, lava-like landscapes he then marches back against with clicks and clunks of heavy industrial percussion or squealing noise.
The trio of tracks on Forgetful Diver span several years of work, with “I Mavri Laterna” being the earliest, by far the shortest, and the most immediately impactful as a result. As sampled voices loop and bicker, Aglaia (as we’ll refer to the artist) whips up a percussive storm to drown them out — a simple technique but evocative nonetheless, especially bearing in mind the turmoil his native Athens was experiencing at the time of its conception. Thus, despite it coming halfway through the album, it is impossible not to let “I Mavri Laterna” influence your reading of Forgetful Diver as being a reaction to Greece’s recent troubles on repeat listens — although Aglaia evidently refined his methods in the years that ensued, both “Blood and Tea” and “DFalter” develop in a remarkably similar way, prompting images of sudden violent insurrection in previously peaceful environs. It is interesting in this context to note “I Mavri Laterna” translates as “The Black Lantern” — a reference, possibly, to a DC Comics series featuring a corps of deceased superheroes whose tagline is “Rise” — and then to connect it with the Spanish slogan that allegedly triggered the May 2011 revolt in Athens: “Be quiet, the Greeks are sleeping.”
Aglaia’s most recent tracks are allowed to develop far more slowly and subtly. “Blood and Tea” is the most haunting piece on the album, especially in its earliest phases when the metronomic creak of what sounds like an abandoned ancient machine being set in motion before it quietly collapses under an increasingly piercing squall of electronic noise. Having said that, things are never allowed off the leash to descend into pandemonium — the artist’s control over the way “Blood and Tea” progresses is such that you can envisage him manipulating every minute element, a fact that can either detract or add to the final product depending on how you like your noise. Personally I prefer a more primitive, less hands-on approach, which is something “DFalter” proves Aglaia is also capable of by bringing percussion back to the party and feeding rickety beats between a violent series of synthetic layers, some of which are allowed to rotate and mutate without interaction until silence falls over the scene like flakes of ash across Syntagma Square. (STEVE DEWHURST)
Right from the suburbs of Athens, Greece hails Aglaia Is Always Wrong and ‘Forgetful Diver’ is his first full-length album … Two pieces are from 2015 and one from 2012. I think the sound to be quite improvised, with a somewhat loosely organized connection between the sounds. Despite the description on offer, I also believe there is a guitar part of the music, rather than what the website says. That too is played in a more or less experimental/improvised fashion, making it all it a bit more rock like in approach, certainly in a piece such as ‘I Mavri Laterna’, with it’s howling drone on the guitar. (FdW)