Astrïd – Always Digging The Same Hole

Founded in 1997 by Cyril Secq and Yvan Ros as a guitar/drums duo, Astrïd subsequently expanded and settled around the violin player Vanina Andreani (1998), followed by the clarinet player Guillaume Wickel (2005). The core of the group is based in Nantes, France.

Astrïd’s instrumental and expansive music has been inspired by improvised music, folk, post-rock and jazz, as well as by classical and contemporary composers, from Ravel to Arvo Pärt. Their work has been released across a number of albums on various labels, including Gizeh Records, Monotype Records and Rune Grammofon. Collaboration with other musicians informed Astrïd’s joint release with Rachel Grimes, Through the Sparkle (2017), and Cyril Secq has released duo albums with Sylvain Chauveau and Orla Wren.

Astrïd’s album Always Digging The Same Hole includes five pieces, each of which patiently and delicately charts its course through different dynamics and moods. The album foregrounds the group’s live performance, close listening and interplay, resulting in atmospheres which are hauntingly suspended and poetically suggestive.

The CD packaging was conceived by visual artist Peter Liversidge across a 6-panel gatefold sleeve, 16 page CD booklet and CD sleeve. Peter’s work was developed in response to the album, and is centred around a series of photographs, some including the band. In addition to his work for galleries and publications, Peter has also worked with a number of musicians, including album cover designs and stage projections for Low.

Band member Guillaume Wickel sadly died in 2022, and Always Digging The Same Hole is dedicated to him.


Other reviews:

“The opening minutes establish the template: the chamber violin balanced by the post-rock guitar. In the hands of these performers, the two are natural friends.”
— A Closer Listen, regarding A Porthole

“The whole album is a masterclass in restraint. It all makes A Porthole an absolute delight, and an album perfect for losing entire evenings exploring its soundscapes and textures.”
— The Sound Not The Word, regarding A Porthole


Vanina Andréani : Violin, piano
Yvan Ros : Drums, percussions, harmonium, metallophone
Cyril Secq : Guitars, piano, Juno, harmonium, percussions, metallophone
Guillaume Wickel : Clarinets, percussions

Recorded and mixed at the goulphar studio by Cyril Secq
Mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering

Cover design and photographs by Peter Liversidge
Graphic design by David Caines

6-panel gatefold sleeve, 16 page CD booklet and CD sleeve