Imagine if Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter gave up dining with rodents in order to learn the violin, eschewing the moronic Dormouse and that berk The Mad March Hare in order to hunker down over a laptop, meticulously splicing together acoustic recordings with digital sorcery. Well, that’s loosely – very, very loosely – what you get with French electronica wizard Chapelier Fou (his name translates as “Mad Hatter”, see?). A prodigous violinist who entered the Conservatoire de Metz aged six, Louis Warynski (for it is he) claims that studying classical music “became unbearable” by the time he was sixteen, and started playing in bands instead.
The music he makes now, however, draws deeply upon his classical education. Warynski’s latest album, “Invisible” (released this month in the UK) is an exquisite mix of skilled musicianship and deft production, and may well be the most harmonically satisfying electronic album of the year. His varied musical influences mean that the echo of composers such as Yann Tiersen and Philip Glass can be heard alongside sounds more redolent of Plaid or Frog Pocket, which makes for a beguiling mix on nimble numbers like “L’eau Qui Dort”. The rapid-fire editing on the astonishing “Protest”, which kicks in after a lengthy orchestral build-up, is finely judged and perfectly executed, while the rest of the album is restlessly inventive and relentlessly gorgeous. Get yourself down the rabbit hole.