Overviewed: Sub Accent / Accents Records / ACCENTAPE003

Overview of the artist Johan Bonnefoy aka the producer Sub Accent and the label Accents Records in particular their newest release ACCENTAPE003, paired with a podcast


“Music is Art, Music is Passion. It is an urgent and profound means of expression, realistic and sincere, it is defined through, outside and beyond the contemporary world, by a deep, precise and sensitive vocabulary” – Accents Records

Art. A skill, a craft, a form of expression. Originated from the earliest awareness of our human body, its proportions and mathematical rhythm, it refers to any aesthetic manifestation in space. Therefore it is an important notion to see music and visual arts in line of each other, rather than separate entities. Johan Bonnefoy, also known under the name of Sub Accent, seeks both of these media as a way to express his artistic vision. As a painter, producer, dj and label head of Accents Records he characterizes himself by a multifaceted and highly integral way of creating. “Painting, drawing, lino-cut and electronic music are practices / mediums that may seem distant. I combine these activities on a daily basis alongside the development of the Accents Records label. For me, they are kind of sensitive bridges; syn-aesthetic crosses. Each medium influences another, deforms it and gives it another possible sense of reading. Space is frequency, as is color or sound. For example, listening to a music can give birth to vivid images and then give rise to a plastic work, and conversely a painting or a lino-cut can influence a musical composition.”

Johan Bonnefoy invokes a tender, melancholic reality in his painted dreamy landscapes and lino-cuts. Rich in color and texture, subtle in stroke and proportion, it reminds much of the impressionist movement. This lush visual connotation is also apparent in his musical style, bold and intuitive, borrowing elements of nature. His latest tape as Sub Accent on Noorden fuses several styles together into a highly sensory amalgam, an interesting piece for the ear. “I follow my instincts, the essence for me is the sincerity and depth in the work. It also depends on the energies, the emotional state, the sensitivity towards a visual or sound discovery. Sometimes switching into a medium allows you to unlock something in the other, and to advance them simultaneously. Contemporary landscape is a constant theme in my musical and pictorial production, somehow everything is connected, I tent translation through a dreamlike filter.”

The curation of his own label is done with as much care as the composition on a canvas or the arrangement of clicks and cuts in a production. Accents Records gathers the finest artists who are capable of invoking emotion through sound, yet in a highly diverse manner. The physical releases are paired with artwork by Johan Bonnefoy. Where the first digital release by e110 unravels thoughtful twists on techno and industrial, the second tape release by Josef Gaard and Kujo plays for example on a series of hallucinatory states, ranging from comfortable and welcoming to rather cold landscapes.

The third tape release on the label is due November 8th and features two highly talented artists. On the A-side Savage Cult, whose sound is marked with an intense ritualistic approach, has previously released a brutal offering on Tripalium Records. The B-side puts Nternal Bserver forward. The Polish producer has made a previous opus on the label Modular Mind with the title “The Brutalist”, cold and effectively minimalist.

The release should be understood as two sides of the same coin. The A-side opens with A Cult of Future, a spacious atmospheric track laced with references to meditation keen to put the listener in the right mindset. Steadily, Savage Cult’s work unfolds itself in ways only describable as cinematic. Calm and precise layering of natural harmonies with the flute can be found in Sanctum, while The Hidden Spirit and The Last Vigil revolve strongly on a contemplative washed-out loop and fluttering breaths of air. Now They Belong to The Void takes off where the introduction of a ritualistic beat in the last track left us. Preparing the next scene of the film for us, the repetitive use of a drum and horn sample is reminiscent of the marching of soldiers and their call to war.

Nternal Bserver lays down a colder, less ambient collection of tracks before us. Artica immediately suggests a change of pace and temperature and continues the intensity of the last two tracks of the A-side. The compactness and minute detail is continued throughout Density of Thoughts (per Minute) onto the wonky patterns in Lakes (full of Snakes) sequenced in a dazzling speed. Revolving Over Drama Of the Man Kind closes the split effort, cementing what could not be better described as a visual and sonic trance-like state captured on tape.