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Go to the Icarus website  Icarus - Sylt [Rump Records - 2007]

The sleeve shows the map of Danish island Sylt. The use of a map must follow up on the way this album was conceived: travelling. Improvising their music in places like Toulouse, France while other times (re)constructing the recordings at home.

There's a whole lot going on in the tracks that vary in length from less than three minutes to two parts of In(e)fænce of more than fifteen minutes: found sounds, field recordings, musique concrète and yes, also more conventional instruments (but used unconventionally). In short: a mishmash of electronic and analogue elements. Stretched out balloon scrapes and sounds of deflation of those balloons get company of miniscule African tribes performing on their tiny drums. Mild drones, hush woodwinds and banjo strings, sometimes even an (almost) straight beat. Slowly developing dissonance on which electronic particles float around. Light in atmosphere but dense in soundevents, at times hectic even with clouds of crackles and clicks and most of the time without an apparent rhythm. These sings leave a lot to the listener, it often suggests things. Like what in literature is called 'ellipsis', omitting words that are to be clear from the context, things like rhythms en melodies are for a large part to be filled in in the head of the listener.

Ollie Brown (the other half is Sam Britton) a PhD student at London University, describes Icarus' method thus: “My research interests include rhythm perception, the evolution of musical behavior, bio-cultural evolution, generative and interactive music systems, creativity, and adaptive systems.” This may sound heavy and scientific, the 'freetronics' by him and Sam Britton are much more playful than that. Sylt is a complex web which remains somewhat puzzling, but luckily also intrigueing.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

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