b. Sebastien Devaud, France. Agoria is the recording moniker adopted by film school graduate and atypical techno producer Devaud.
According to legend, the Lyon, France-based producer played his first DJ set as support to Richie Hawtin and Carl Cox, and has played alongside Jeff Mills, Joey Beltram, Colin Dale and Cristian Vogel. Increasingly bored of playing other people’s records, however, Devaud began creating his own tracks that were explicitly intended to transcend what Devaud calls ‘motorway techno’. He was the first DJ to be taken on by FAIR, a French support fund for new acts. The son of an opera singer (who taught him music theory and piano from the age of 10) and an architect (who was apparently a big fan of Steve Reich and Brian Eno’s repetitive musics), Devaud cites the inspiration of Pierre Henry, Stockhausen, hip-hop and Prince alongside Detroit luminaries such as Derrick May, Kenny Larkin and Underground Resistance. While his DJ sets are predominantly Detroit-style techno, Devaud’s 2003 album debut was intended to cross genres to reflect his home-listening habits. ‘La Onzieme Marche’ (The Eleventh Step) was a particularly classy and perfectly poised slab of Underground Resistance-inspired techno. Blossom featured a trio of collaborations: with Sylvie Marks of the Berlin-based BPitch Control label (on ‘Spinach Girl’), Ann Saunderson (on ‘Worth It’), and Tricky (on ‘2thousand3’). Devaud has released music via the UMF, Tekmics, Zebra 3 and A-Traction labels and his Agoria alter-ego has been remixed by Alexandre Kowalski, Intec’s C1, Eedio, Phil Keiran and Kompakt Records’ Michael Mayer.