Stepping out from behind his assumed identities, Fred Aubourg is an artist ready to embrace what he has achieved so far even as he looks to where he might be heading. You may have already experienced his micro house and electro experiments as Skat, or even caught the Destination Danger collaborations with Guillaume Coutu Dumont, but his most prolific work in recent times has certainly been as Oleg Poliakov. Emerging from a myth about a lonely Siberian boy discovering house and techno by chance, Aubourg has gone on to forge a captivating back catalogue of releases for labels as highly regarded as Bass Culture, Eklo and Phonogramme. While the back story may have been false, the romantic vision of icy tundra has seeped into his music; glacial melodies that set the mind alight in amongst the learned path of a dancefloor producer.
The most vital vessel for Aubourg’s creative development has undoubtedly been Parisian label Circus Company, and as his hometown team he now plays a decisive role in helping steer the world-class imprint alongside his own musical pursuits. From his first EP as Oleg in 2007 onwards, Aubourg’s relationship with the Circus has always been leading up to the point he is at now, releasing his debut album Random Is A Pattern to sum up the artistic journey he has been on thus far in his career.
As the album reveals, both in the tumultuous music and the stunning tornado artwork, tension exists at the heart of Aubourg’s work. The constant wrestle between the immediacy of impulsive creation and the never-ending quest for perfection, the ideas scrapped at the eleventh hour and the inspiration that comes after; these factors manifest themselves across every track in myriad ways. For every urgent techno drum pattern, there is a soothing tone or a harmonious pad. The most tender of moments feel weighted with possibility, liable to move in any number of directions at an unpredictable point.
In this sense, Random Is A Pattern is a milestone for Aubourg, consciously drawing a line under the work he has amassed so far and hence freeing him to pursue unknown paths in the future. At once it is a celebration of all that he has achieved, and a celebration of the emancipation of his muse. As an artist in constant dialogue with himself about his aims and motivations, such progression is an essential part of the process. It’s a challenge many choose to avoid in favour of working on a winning formula, so be thankful that musicians such as these recognise the worth in redevelopment and experimentation, or else nothing new would ever get done.