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As Ollie Bown and Sam Britton delve further into their respective academic persuits… (Ollie is currently half way through a doctorate in evolutionary simulation at London’s Goldsmith’s College, while Sam is packing his bags to spend a year studying composition at IRCAM in Paris), Icarus, their somewhat suppressed collective alter-ego, puts forth, as food for the electronic music table, the adaptation of a 30 minute live sketch into a studio-buffed precision product.
Three lengthy tracks come together to form Carnivalesque, a bricolage of the sonic revelry that takes centre stage in Icarus’ sub-conscious, filling the gaps between otherwise serene pursuits: Carnivalesque conceals spasms of Icarus’ signature mayhem amongst extended passages of ritual repetition; an invitation to a highly-dramatised headphone promenade down a familiar city street. Carnivalesque’s tense conflicts of duration misplace it as EP, single or album, ostensibly as a result of the way it was produced. The complete work was recorded as a continuous live performance and repeatedly punched into shape and reinterpreted during extensive post-production sessions, drawing on and expanding techniques pioneered in 2002’s Misfits and 2004’s I Tweet the Birdy Electric releases.
With Carnivalesque Icarus also return to the freedom of their fantasy non-label, Not Applicable, which is set to gain momentum with the release of additional collaborative projects. Carnivalesque’s CD release adopts reappropriated packaging from the discarded albums of other artists, alluding to a multiplicity of themes: the deterioration of the absolutism of ’shifting units’ in the 21st century music trade; transitions of associated identity throughout the lifetime of musical articles; the musical work as carnivore or cannibal; and, simply, the recycling of negligent waste.
Icarus’ recent ventures have included the critically acclaimed album I Tweet the Birdy Electric on The Leaf Label, described by The Wire Magazine as one of their top 10 electronica albums of 2004; remixes for Four Tet, Lunz and Murcof; and performances around Europe, including Belgrade’s Dis-Patch festival and the Brussels Planetarium. Scratch work has also started for a new album.