Hagop Tchaparian - Bolts LP

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Kieran Hebden's Text Records announce Bolts, the debut album from British-Armenian producer Hagop Tchaparian. Hagop's debut album Bolts features ten tracks of hyper-personal rhythm music that mixes techno with field recordings of his travels through Armenian and Mediterranean culture. The ten tracks on Bolts, combine the audio evidence of a life's experience, with the notion that lo-fi techno can be the right canvas for conveying that experience. Hagop's been gathering these sounds and vignettes for almost 15 years, having begun accumulating them before the smart-phone in his pocket included a "record" function. The result is the sound of a man chasing his heritage around the world, while sprinkling clues of his everyday life amidst the manipulated folk instruments of his ancestry. There are aspects of tactile remembrances in between these rhythms, at times the result feels explosive. From its title down to the incessant bleating of the zurna, "Right to Riot" is like a punk techno that cries for the disaffected. Whereas "Timelapse", which features a loop of the music that accompanies the fire-jumping wedding ritual sews together what seem like connected images in a photo album that may be physically decomposing, but whose power remains. Hagop's past is the precursor to him creating something meaningful with these recordings. In his teens Tchaparian, played guitar in Symposium, a '90s post-grunge punk band. After Symposium, Hagop contributed to a 2000 comp called Hokis, which collected music by Armenian artists and Hagop was drawn into London's club scene. Hagop would make the occasional remix that friends like Kieran would play in their DJ sets, but working on original new music wasn't foremost on his mind. He kept gathering these little snippets of rudimentarily recorded sound. There was an emotional resonance in continuing to fit these samples together into a storyline that made sense to him. On their own, the rhythm tracks could successfully power an underground dance-floor, but the elements surrounding the beats were the undercurrents that helped push the music beyond party rituals. When he played some early bits and pieces for Hebden, the veteran musician encouraged him to continue, and turn it into a full body of work. Hagops's globalized narrative complicates this party's soundtrack beyond the margins of ethno-cultural chill-out comps. Bolts is a very particular and this is Hagop's excavation of his Armenian heritage through a lifetime's worth of remote recordings. Ryan Smith (Caribou, Taraval) assisted with production and mixing. London compatriot Dennis White added a few production touches. Hagop also worked with Michel "Shelle" Dierickx, a legendary old-school producer. Artwork by Atiba Jefferson.

Track List:

  • Timelapse (3:46)
  • GL (2:56)
  • Escape (2:44)
  • Flame (8:52)
  • Raining (3:40)
  • Right To Riot (5:00)
  • Round (4:00)
  • Jordan (4:05)
  • Ldz (2:06)
  • Iceberg (3:09)