Tom Arthurs/Simon Vincent, Tom Arthurs/Ollie Bown/Isambard Khroustaliov/Lothar Ohlmeier, Kings Place, London, 30/1/2012

themilkman on Jan 31st 2012 01:05 am

Tom Arthurs/Simon Vincent, Tom Arthurs/Ollie Bown/Isambard Khroustaliov/Lothar Ohlmeier, Kings Place, London, 30/1/2012

If the vast possibilities offered by the meeting of acoustic instrumentation and electronic processing have been explored at length throughout the second half of the twentieth century, and even more so in the first decade of the twenty-first, there seem to be an almost infinite capacity for the two to continue to coexist and develop in ever more complex and rich ways. This is precisely what British experimental trumpeter Tom Arthurs set out to demonstrate as he presented two different works this Monday evening at Kings Place, in front of a disappointingly scarce audience, each piece investigating a different approach, and relationship, between the two.

The first set involved Arthurs improvising over extremely bare electronic textures created on the spot by Simon Vincent. 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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themilkman on Nov 2nd 2011 01:22 am

Philippe Pannier & Isambard Khroustaliov: Chaleur

Not Applicable 2011
07 Tracks. 33mins58secs

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Like most of the records published under the Not Applicable banner, Chaleur is before all a meeting of minds and the fulfilment of a unique vision. French classical guitarist Philippe Pannier and experimental sound artist Sam Britton met back in 2006 at IRCAM in Paris when they were invited to work on a piece for banjo and electronics to be composed by Sam. The pair exchanged ideas which were eventually realised on a piece called Junkspace, which was featured on Britton’s Isambard Khroustaliov’s album Ohka. The pair lost touch for a while, but rekindled their partnership following the release of Ohka, eventually getting together once more at the end of last year, this time in a north-eastern suburb of Paris, Le Blanc Mesnil. 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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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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