ICARUS: Fake Fish Distribution (An Album In 1000 Variations) (Not Applicable)

themilkman on Feb 15th 2012 01:01 am

Icarus: Fake Fish Distribution

Fake Fish Distribution
Not Applicable 2012
08 Tracks. 48mins24secs


Subtitled ‘An album in 1000 variations’, the new Icarus offering is, ambitiously, just that; a digital album with exactly 1000 copies available, all different, so whichever version you end up possessing will not be exactly quite as the one this, or any, reviewer has listened to and written about. This means that, whilst each owner of one copy of this record can have the satisfaction of owning something by definitely unique, as far as this particular copy is not duplicated in any way, and claim some of the rights should their particular version be licensed for commercial use, it also means that no one, including Ollie Bown and Sam Britton themselves possibly, will ever hear the project in its entirety.

The music was created using conventional electronic instrumentation and tools, and is distributed via equally conventional file transfer technology, but uses generative techniques, allowing for the various parts of a recording to be assembled in slightly different ways. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Jan 19th 2012 01:34 am

Tom Arthurs/Ollie Bown/Isambard Khroustaliov/Lothar Ohlmeier: Long Division

Long Division
Not Applicable 2012
07 Tracks. 50mins26secs

A year and a half ago, clarinetist Lothar Ohlmeier, trumpet player Tom Arthurs and Icarus’s Ollie Bown and Sam ‘Isambard Khroustaliov’ Britton were invited to perform at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Amsterdam, Netherlands, but neither Bown, who lives in Sydney, nor Britton, who was due to be on his honeymoon at the time, were able to attend. Still, the four did perform together, in some way, as planned. Arthurs and Ohlmeier did make it to the festival and played together on stage against a backdrop of sounds generated by software developed specifically for the performance by both Bown and Britton, the particularity of the software in question being that it would generate sounds and music on its own accord and interact with the two live performers as they improvised. This was further complicated by the equation between protagonists constantly shifting between the four, or in case of Icarus, their incarnations, performing either in pairs or trio. Continue Reading »

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ICARUS: All Is For The Best In The Best Of All Possible Worlds (Not Applicable)

themilkman on Apr 13th 2010 12:19 am

Icarus: All Is For The Best In The Best Of All Possible Worlds

All Is For The Best In The Best Of All Possible Worlds
Not Applicable 2010
08 Tracks. 43mins27secs

Live improvisation has been part of British duo Icarus’s work for years now, and this latest offering, recorded during the pair’s European tour in support to Sylt Remixes, released last year, continues to develop this aspect.

The work here seems in part inspired by the insect behaviours filmed by architect-turned filmmaker and visual artist Martin Hampton for the pair’s tour. This transpires predominantly in how Bown and Britton articulate busy soundscapes, stabs of hyperactive rhythms, at times recalling some of their early drum’n’bass work, albeit in much more deconstructed form, and abstract melodies into dense sonic vignettes, especially on pieces such as Husky Offset, Uke ‘Em, On The Sunny Sides Of The Ocean and closing sister track On The Sunny Side Of The Oceans Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: 2 | Favourite Places (Audiobulb Records)

themilkman on Oct 28th 2009 02:07 am

Various Artists: 2 | Favourite Places

2 | Favourite Places
Audiobulb Records 2009
10 Tracks. 56mins30secs

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The concept is pretty simple: take a number of contemporary musicians with a taste for moods and atmospheres, task them with recording sounds from their favourite places in the world and use them in a composition. This is exactly what David Newman, head of Audiobulb, did two years ago, and the result was compiled in the first instalment of Favourite Places, with contributions from Biosphere, Taylor Deupree, Claudio, Leafcutter John and John Kannenberg amongst others. The second volume in the collection brings together musicians from the UK (Michael Santos, Icarus, Autistici, Calika), Australia (Lawrence English), Belgium (Yannick Franck), Japan (Sawako), USA (Jeremy Bible, He Can Jog) and Canada (Michael Trommer), giving them each a chance to introduce their very own favourite place. The booklet accompanying this CD contains photographs and a description of these spots, providing concrete complements to the recordings. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Sep 23rd 2009 12:26 am

Isambard Khroustaliov: Ohka

Not Applicable 2009
05 Tracks. 55mins18secs

With Icarus, British musicians Ollie Bown and Sam Britton have, in the twelve years since their first release, progressively moved from relatively conventional electronic music to much more challenging work. Their more recent records, I Tweet The Birdy Electric (Leaf, 2004), Carnivalesque (Not Applicable, 2005) and Sylt (Rump Recordings, 2007) have investigated the confines of experimental electronica and electro-acoustic. With his own project, Britton pushes much further into electro-acoustic territories to produce music that is, in essence, much more orchestral. Having studied architecture, Britton then went on to complete a Masters course in electronic music and composition at the IRCAM in Paris. Recording under the name Isambard Khroustaliov, Britton has collaborated with Italian-born percussionist Maurizio Ravalico and Dutch saxophonist Lothar Ohlmeier on two separate electro-acoustic projects (Five Loose Plans, 2006 and Nowhere, 2008), both released on Not Applicable, has contributed soundtracks to a handful of short films and done remixes for Icarus and Four Tet. Continue Reading »

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Yee-King, Isan & Icarus, Café Oto, Dalston, London, 13/08/2009

themilkman on Aug 15th 2009 11:44 pm

Yee-King, Isan, Icarus, Café Oto, Dalston, London, 13/08/2009

A stone throw from the sprawling Olympic building site, Dalston is the home of Café Oto, the venue chosen by Icarus for the London leg of their current tour, coinciding with the release of Sylt Remixes. For the event, they had invited experimental laptop sound artist Yee-King, electronic story tellers Isan and the Glass Shrimp DJ to complete the bill. Continue Reading »

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ICARUS: Sylt Remixes (Rump Recordings)

themilkman on Jul 9th 2009 12:52 am

Icarus: Sylt Remixes

Sylt Remixes
Rump Recordings 2009
14 Tracks. 75mins38secs

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For the last decade or so, Icarus have continuously refined their sophisticated electronica, feeding it with layers of found sounds, prepared instruments, noise, complex rhythmic structures and electro-acoustic forms. Formed of Ollie Bown and Sam Britton, Icarus started in the mid nineties as a pretty conventional electronic act with a taste for minimal forms and beats infused with drum & bass, but progressively, the pair brought in less conformist sounds and developed a very different approach to their work, which reached full maturity for the first time with their 2004 album I Tweet The Birdy Electric, published on Leaf. Sylt, released in 2007 on Danish imprint Rump Recordings, was built around a series of live improvisations, which were later dismantled and reassembled into the seven tracks that made the album.

This remix album sees a wide array of artists, from Opiate to Isan, Svartag to Xela, Digitonal to Ital Tek, getting their hands on Sylt and once again pull its sounds apart to create something entirely new. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Mar 27th 2008 01:56 am

Lothar Ohlmeier/Isambard Khroustaliov: Nowhere

Not Applicable 2008
05 Tracks. 33mins48secs

Nowhere is the first collaboration between Dutch jazz bass clarinetist and soprano saxophonist Lothar Ohlmeier and Isambard Khroustaliov, the alter ego of British experimental musician Sam Britton, who is more commonly known as one half of electronic entity Icarus. Ohlmeier studied music in Hannover and Amsterdam before establishing himself at the forefront of the Dutch improvised music scene. He has since collaborated with a wide range of jazz artists, including pianist Julia Sassoon and drummer Bart van Helsdinger, with whom he formed Azilut! in 2000. Now living in England, Ohlmeier continues to perform all over Europe. Meanwhile, beside his regular stint with Icarus, Sam Britton has been working on solo projects under his Isambard Khroustaliov guise, releasing a first limited CDR, entitled 8 Minutes, on the band’s imprint, Not Applicable, in 2002, followed by a collaborative effort with Italian-born percussionist Maurizio Ravalico, Five Loose Plans, in 2006.

The fruit of three years of work, the five tracks presented here, culled from recordings made during a residency at the IRCAM in Paris and at various music festivals across Europe, demonstrate the increasing connections between traditional improvised music and modern forms. Continue Reading »

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ICARUS: Sylt (Rump Recordings)

themilkman on Nov 20th 2007 01:49 am

Icarus: Sylt

Rump Recordings 2007
07 Tracks. 59mins37secs

Icarus, the duo formed of Sam Britton and Ollie Bown, began life as an experimental drum’n’bass formation, releasing records on Recordings Of Substance, Output, Hydrogen Dukebox, Temporary Residence and their own Not Applicable imprint. In recent years, their work has become much more focused on pure sonic experimentation, with albums such as I Tweet The Birdie Electric (The Leaf Label, 2004) and Carnivalesque (Not Applicable) showcasing incredibly dense and complex, yet light and airy, sonic formations, often built out of lengthy improv sessions.

The pair’s latest project is centred around two epic sister pieces, First Inf(e)rænce and Second Inf(e)rænce,  each spanning well over fifteen minutes. Recorded live in May 2006 at Les Abattoires in Toulouse, France, during a single session, these two improvisations are amongst the most complex and intricate pieces the band have recorded. Continue Reading »

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