- With a title that translates to "baptism," you might expect Agoria's Kompakt single to be more immersive. Instead, "Baptême" feels especially dry. Its creeping strings look to create tension but sound too canned and brittle to be emotionally effective. The downcast piano chords are played so softly they lack bite. And carrying the whole thing is a limp house beat built around one spongy kick and one wooden tock, which only gets moving when Agoria introduces some tinny hi-hats. You could argue that the idea here is restraint—after the breakdown "Baptême" does undergo a slight change—but what's more obvious is a feeling of being stuck in high-definition limbo.
Luke Jenner, formerly of The Rapture, lends a warbly vocal to the atmospheric DJ Tennis remix (billed as the "Lucky Blue Eyes Version") and it's a welcome dose of humanity. Between its punchy drums, swaggering bass, hummable melodies and cohesive groove, Agoria's own version of the DJ Tennis remix seems to make up for everything the original lacks. Not only does it fill the frequency spectrum and stereo field with vibrant, animated sounds, it also favors natural movement over a contrived dance floor narrative.
B1 Baptême (Lucky Blue Eyes Version / Agoria Retouch)
Digital: Baptême (Lucky Blue Eyes Version)