Viken Arman shook up the walls of Velvet last Friday with his trademark potent and earthy deep house, creating a wonderful shared experience for an energetic – and at capacity – audience.
Arman, of French and Armenian descent, assembled deep, booming Oriental buildups and bursts with dark melodic tones and trip hop vibes. His transitions were diverse, ranging from gradual shifts in tempo to short energetic bouncy beats.
He punctuates his storytelling sets with a unique technical variety of instrument sounds –influenced by his days at the conservatory – and it works. The artfully placed woodwind melodies, percussion pulses, emotive vocals and string progressions add depth, while the diversity of his influences and instrumentation grants a true traveler feel. All these delightful journey-invoking sounds are then grounded in a steady rhythmic groove.
These elements coming together form a strong distinctive musical identity crafted into his creations, as he innovatively ties past and present together on the dance floor. As for the venue-artist combination, it was an ingenuous and harmonious choice, pairing the interior cave-like space of Velvet with Arman’s dusky and dreamy intonations.
Initially signed onto the multifaceted French Délicieuse Musique, Arman went on to form his own Parisian label last year. Denature Records is described as “a passionate family of masked monkeys” and comprises a solid creative team of music and culture lovers such as Acid Pauli or Bedouin.
Designated as the “mysterious uncle” of the All Day I Dream crew, he also founded the roving immersive SOUQ Festival which celebrates Oriental and Middle-Eastern melodies and culture, switching up between a daytime open air market and a nighttime electronic deep house voyage.
The majority of the crowd stayed put when the lights came back on, as Arman continued playing until the last instant. We look forward to future travels with this one and his ever-expanding musical horizons.
article by Lola