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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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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BRIGID BURKE & OLLIE BOWN: Erase (Not Applicable)

themilkman on Jun 29th 2011 01:31 am

Brigid Burke & Ollie Brown: Erase

Not Applicable 2011
06 Tracks. 29mins07secs

Chance encounters can be fruitful accidents. British musician and sound artist Ollie Bown, who splits his time between his activities as one half of experimental duo Icarus and various side projects, met Australian musician and visual artist Brigid Burke after temporarily moving to Melbourne. A classically trained musician and composer, Burke is a solo clarinetist whose work often involves integrating improvised music and visual media forms. She has released a number of solo records, and also regularly performs as part of a wide array of ensembles.

Her collaboration with Bown, himself a seasoned musician and improv artist, was recorded during a short series of live improvisations in Melbourne two years ago, Burke on bass clarinet, clarinet, whistles, midi sax and sound processing, and Bown on electronics and processing. 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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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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