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icarus - Sylt
Sam Britton and Ollie Bown probably first caught the electronica community's attention with their Leaf LP, Tweet The Birdie Electric. Although the duo had released various albums as Icarus prior to that, it took that 2004 release to truly showcase the sprawling genre-shattering complexity of their work. Sylt should be seen as a continuation of that to some degree, but here the emphasis is firmly on the electronic processing, sculpting and editing of conventional instrumentation, resulting in a kind of electroacoustic take on post-rock. The rampant beats of old are dispensed with almost entirely in favour of more subtle, amorphous sonic fabrications, although pieces like 'Selfautoparent' are suggestive of an experimental drum & bass background, flirting with percussive digestive processes like a microsound Squarepusher. Elements of jazz enter into the Icarus sound throughout, with the longer compositions like 'Second In(f)aerence' maintaining the erratic programmed elements while establishing a dialogue with more naturalistic piano sequences. There's much to recommend Sylt, not least the fact that Icarus seem to have found a way of reinventing certain conventions and processes associated with supposedly outmoded IDM formats, resulting in a music that's absolutely relevant and fiercely contemporary.