Music Reviews

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Artist: Icarus (@)
Title: Sylt [remixes]
Format: CD
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Once upon a time there was an album called Sylt. Their creator and craftsmen, Ollie Brown and Sam Britton, could never imagine that, after they changed course from theme variations on drum'n'bass (... appreciated for their renowned ability in lavishing scraps of minimal techno, psychedelic rock, avant-garde classical music and free jazz on hyperkinetic dnb rhythms... ) to avantgarde experimental artifacts, this nice workouts would have been so acclaimed that the Danish label Rump Recordings could decide to issue a collection of remixes. But the most astonishing thing that this collection of remixes looks like a sort of musical ambigram: you can listen to a remix, but by the way each track well represents a slice of the contemporary state-of-art of electronic music's wide universe and we're almost sure that if you could listen it without knowing it's a collection of remixes, you could imagine this release is a standing-alone album from a mysterious eclectic musician!!! Or maybe Icarus simply have satisfied their wish consisting of borrowing their legendary wax wings in their deafening sonic appearance to other potential explorer eager to learn some secrets of their musical flight... You're not going to take no account of this detail after you'll listen the result. As a consequence of the running trend of dubstep spreading throughout the Old Continent, there's a vast assortment of dubby rhythmical movements among the mentioned explorations: we particularly appreciated the entrancing one proposed by the Throbbing Gristle collaborator Ivan Pavlov (ex Coil) aka oxy/CoH - his moniker doesn't inherit with organic chemistry, but it's a Cyrillic written Russian word meaning both sleep and dream... - as well as the powerful crescendo chosen by Karsten Pflum in order to give a new dress to the lovely anthem First Inf(E)Rænce. For an unknown reason, a lot of remixers have decided to re-assemble Keet mostly (there's also a remix or just to say better a sort of orchestral maquillage made up by Icarus itself... ), the track introducing to the listening of Sylt: maybe the most astonishing versions are the ones rebuilt by the abstracts trenches by Bjork-collaborator Opiate and the trickling drum patterns interweaving with flowy sounds by the esteemed Frank Bretschneider, but it could be easy to fall in love with the chinking rivulets tinged with a shoegaze-like vibe reminding the sunniest repertoire by Chemical Brothers instilled by Isan as well as the tonal dubbed-jazz insufflations by the label-mate Badun, which built an interesting and (a)melodic aggregate of noisy gears. But there's a plenty of highlights you will discover while listening to the album: the stretched frequencies having a tidy hip-hop hair of the inference in Zela's machine words, the 8-bit wood-shaving of Second Inf(E)Rænce exiting from the Swedish wizard Goto80's Commodore -!-, the dark dubstep (fitted to the tastes of Skull Disco's fans) got out from Ital Tek's laptop as well as the abstract distillate proposed by the refined improve-jazz duet of Isambard Khroustallov (just an alter ego for a solo project of Sam Britton, one of the two wings pushing Icarus nearby the sun... ) and the Swedish clarinetist and soprano saxophonist Lothar Ohlmeier... Last but not least a lovely trip-hop fuzzy lullaby as a remix of Jyske well-forged by Digitonal. The artwork '“ with those London parakeets featuring a psychedelically colored plumage - is just a shot taken from a clip created by Alice Scott to the track Keet, available as a download from Icarus website as an accompaniment to the album.



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