Icarus' 2007 album 'Sylt' further consolidated the band's exploration into remixing recordings of live performances, which were in turn remixes of earlier studio tracks (a trait first explored in 2005's 'Carnivalesque').
With the 'Sylt Remixes' album, this reprocessing passes over to third parties, gathering contributions from Denmark (home of Rump Recordings), the UK (home of Icarus) and further afield.
The collection opens on a dancefloor tack, kicking off with teenage prodigy Nabo's wonky mix of "Volks!", and passing via Björk-collaborator Opiate's abstract mix of "Keet" into Frank Bretschneider of Raster-Noton's pulsating edit of the same. Karsten Pflum's bass-driven take on "First Inf(E)Rænce" strips the hoover bag out of a frenetic crescendo to create a minimal dub-funk work out, while ISANs version of "Keet" adds glockenspiels and an almost shoegaze vibe.
Elsewhere, Planet Mu's Ital Tek puts the dubstep into "Selfautoparent", while Svartbag extends "Rugkiks" with guitardrones and noise and Throbbing Gristle-collaborator Ivan Pavlov (aka oxy/CoH) gives a minimalistic take on Keets lop-sided beats.
The remixing then pushes out towards more abstract territory with electro-acoustic improvisers Isambard Khroustaliov / Lothar Ohlmeier, cyber-jazzers Badun, Xela (in a surprisingly hip-hop workout of "Second Inf(E)Rænce"), and Swedish 8-bit wizzard Goto80.
Finally, Icarus themselves also provide a pre-original mix of 'Sylt's opening track, "Keet", redecorated with fragments of orchestration, before Digitonal finishes off with a soothing take on "Jyske".
The artwork weaves London parakeets into the mix, courtesy of a video created by Alice Scott to the track "Keets", which is available as a download from the band's website as an accompaniment to the album.
ALBUM LINER NOTES:
Original material written and produced by Ollie Bown and Sam Britton.
Mastered by Will Worsley. Artwork by Alice Scott. Design by Atelier Elephant.
We would like to thank all of the artists who have contributed remixes to this compilation and to Jens and all the Rump Recordings artists for making it possible. These remixes are the first ever of Icarus and have amplified the spirit of the original album 'Sylt', which was also a remix as much as a new departure, reinterpreting elements from previous albums within our live material. It is a great pleasure to hear Icarus further rewired.
Alice Scott created an animation to an early version of the track 'Keet' (which appears on this release as 'Keets'), and the track in fact acquired its title from the subject of the film; the increasing number of bright green squawking parakeets that have slowly taken over London's parks since their release in unknown circumstances [still the subject of much speculation] in the mid 1980s. The tropical birds are now more common than native blackbirds or sparrows and the film imagines a future scenario where the parakeets become as prolific as the common pigeon is today. The film is available to view and download through our website: [www.icarus.nu]
In 1995 Ollie Bown and Sam Britton accidentally tuned into a pirate station and split their sides with hysterics at the machine-gun breakbeat frenzy they were soon to learn was called jungle. After the laughter subsided, Sam and Ollie turned their wholehearted attention to the domain of samplers and breakbeats, consuming and producing more or less unfamiliar strains of drum'n'bass, tinged by longer-standing influences such as no-wave and free jazz, psychedelic rock, minimal techno and avant-garde classical music.
Gradually Icarus gained recognition in quirky corners of the d'n'b-crazed community and a reputation for out of the box experimentation, but they soon moved away from the fading limelight of drum'n'bass and looked deeper into sound-design, music concrete and rhythmic experimentation.
Apart from Icarus, Ollie Bown has been collaborating with Squidsoup, The Live Algorithms For Music Group, Adem and others, and has finished a PhD on the evolution of human musical behaviour at Goldsmiths. Sam Britton can also be found writing music for many weird and wonderful scenarios under the alias Isambard Khroustaliov.
"This feels more like a collection of brand new music than reinterpretations. ..so much inventive and engaging work." - BBC (UK)
"Sylt Remixes is a consistently challenging record which opens up the already vast sound world of Icarus to entirely new textures." - The Milk Factory (UK)
"Sylt Remixes is a varied collection and (...) you do get your money's worth." - Textura (Canada)
"It's almost impossible to place this album anywhere other than in the 'slightly uneasy listening' bracket. In an age of mass-conformity and mainstream music-by-numbers, such non-conformity can only be a good thing." - Whisperin and Hollerin (UK)
"Die Menschen, die diese Musik machen und jene, die sie hören, können keine schlechten Menschen sein." - Partysan (DE)
"Overall the listening experience is as invigorating as it is unsettling" - DJ Mag (UK)
"An excellent platform for the broad spectrum of modern electronica" - Rock A Rolla (UK).
"Eine recht gute Remix-Edition mit dickem Stuff von tanzbar bis chillig oder krude elektronisch." -
"Icarus' Sylt på nye hænder forvaltes kompetent og kærligt." -
"Es klingt nach minimal-dubbigem Schaltkreisglimmen, romantischern Stromkabelschunkeln, pulsierenden Tonsignalen, acht-bittedem Gruscheln und finster verlorener Beatforschung. Nichtimmer Abstrakt, aber immer öfters. Hörenswert." - Raveline (DE)
"Hier wird nicht zitiert, hier wird tiefgreifend, ehrlich und substanziell neu gemischt und dekonstruiert." -
"Britton and Bown obviously are skilled freak magnets" -
"en strålende og anderledes vildt-
voksende antologi, der også bringer os omkring støjende rock-himle, akustiske guitar-kortslutninger, 8-bit-krigsførsel, kammer-avantgarde og freejazz-videreformuleringer." -
"14 forskelligartede numre, som spænder fra Opiates semidrømmende konstruktion, over den opbrudte hvide støj fra Goto 80, de dystre og disharmoniske Svartbag og Ohlmeier/Khroustraliov toner, til det drevne beat fra Karsten Pflum og de nærmest smukke og elegante remix fra ISAN, som stille og roligt udvikler sig." -
Sylt Remixes has been playlisted at: Resonance FM by Rob Young, editor of The Wire and Susanna Glaser, web-editor of The Wire (UK),
Köln Campus (DE),
Störung (ES), Radio Dreyeckland, "Laut und Deutlich", Freiburg (DE),
Radio Bayerischer Rundfunk (DE), Zündfunk Nachtsession,Eldoradio Dortmund, Radio Eins - Ocean Club, WDR Eins Live, Byte FM: "Spagat", "Karamba", and other
Radio Dreyeckland "Laut und Deutlich",Oldenburg, Radio Z Nürnberg "tiefton", Radio Blau Leipzig & FSk Sunday Service.