"In The Footsteps Of Xpujil"

An original, 6-part piece commissioned by renowned Parisian digital arts centre La Gaîté Lyrique, this album was recorded during special performances at la Gaîté and reworked in their studios. In the Footsteps of Xpujil features collaborations with artist/writer Agnès Gayraud (voice), Gaspar Claus (cello), Myako (electronics) and Cosmic Neman (percussion).

The piece is an extension of Xpujil, Nova Materia’s immersive album based on binaural recordings made by the duo during a journey in the Mexican jungle (towards the ruins of the Maya city of Xpujil), which were then processed and transformed. The resulting album blurred the borders between music, field recordings and psychoacoustic trance, in a spirit close to that of acoustic ecology.

Xpujil was released towards the end of 2021, as part of the Made To Measure series.
Nova Materia then proceeded to prepare four live extensions of the album, each with a different collaborator, with whom the duo worked on a different aspect of the original piece.

These sessions were weaved into this single, 6-part album, mixed in binaural by Thibaut Javoy.

1. Je ne suis jamais allée à Xpujil 1 -  featuring Agnès Gayraud
2. Je ne suis jamais allée à Xpujil 2 -  featuring Agnès Gayraud

Agnès Gayraud wrote and read a text which explores the paradoxes of immersive listening, between intimacy and trance. Agnès is a musician and songwriter (under the name La Féline), as well as a writer and philosopher (her acclaimed Dialectic of Pop was translated and published in 2020).

3. Forest of Ghosts 1- featuring Gaspar Claus
4. Forest of Ghosts 2 - featuring Gaspar Claus

With Gaspar Claus and his cello, Nova Materia tackled an acoustic approach of Xpujil. An adventurous instrumentalist, Gaspar has worked with artists & projects across the spectrum, from Jim O-Rourke to Rone to classical music & soundtracks

5. Insects - featuring Myako
Exploring a forest of insect-sized microsounds with Myako, a rising figure in the French electronic music scene, equally at ease doing DJ sets for Rinse France and producing audio pieces with/for ethnological museum Quai Branly.

6. Ritual - featuring Cosmic Neman
With Cosmic Neman’s electronic and acoustic percussion, this section approaches the word of ritual and trance devices which sometimes enable to communicate with the invisible. Cosmic Neman is a founding member of Herman Dune and Zombie Zombie.

Xpujil  in the press

Haunted sonic architecture… Field recordings are processed, kneaded, diluted, slowed down… revealing the richness which was hitherto concealed to the explorers’ limited senses (Libération, FR)

Nova Materia are collecting music of the living sphere throughout the world, and are sculpting it with an acoustic ecology approach. (France Inter, FR)

"Getting rid of productivist modes of listening” is a bold proposition… A long, carnal dive into a landscape inhabited by invisible forces (Les Inrockuptibles, FR)

Partly recorded in the heart of the Mexican jungle, this is a resolutely ambient record, which listens to the whispers of the world, to its languages and its mysteries... (Télérama, FR)

A wide-eared dive into the history of the conquest of Mexico... an almost supernatural atmosphere, inhabited by the cries of animals and the murmur of insects... an immersive sound experience. (France Musique, FR)

An ecstatic sound world, in which the spirits of the forest become audible (Deutschlandfunk, DE)

A quiet burner. A revelation. A journey through an ancient area, real, surreal, desolate, full of mythology; history, horizon (Manafonistas, DE)

You find yourself somewhere else, somewhere lighter, sounds stretch around you… extricating yourself from this will be difficult; but perhaps you don’t really want to (FREQ, UK)


Strength EP
It Comes
NOVA MATERIA - Xpujil Revisited
Xpujil Revisited