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Icarus + Babs + Inch-Time

20th January @ Cafe Oto


In 2011, UK electronic duo Icarus (Ollie Bown and Sam Britton) set out to return to studio production for the first time since their celebrated 2005 album I Tweet the Birdy Electric. In the interim the duo's collaborative electronic music productions had focused increasingly on the possibilities of improvised electronic music performance, perfected through custom performance tools and documented in albums that were either live or edited reinterpretations of live improvisations.

Generativity has been a strong theme in Icarus' composition. Whilst creating their new album, the question arose as to why, with so much ongoing experimental generative practice in both music and art, doesn't generative composition have a foothold in everyday music listening experiences? That such works often run as software is one factor. This automatically introduces a level of obscurantism and is not in keeping with the relative universality of fixed media data files that dominate listener's music collections. Besides that, the consistency of an album, and it's longevity both as an artistic statement and as an anchor for memories and associations is a desirable property in the hands of its owner, even if not in the mind of its maker; We adapt to the repeated listening of a complex passage with heightened intensity more than with the waning of interest through familiarity.

Fake Fish Distribution - version 500 sampler by Icarus...

Reflecting on these ideas, Icarus settled on devising not a generative album but a parametric one, one in which the album was a fixed and finite entity, a decisive compositional work, but drawn out over 1,000 smoothly varying versions of the same body of musical content, a unique copy for anyone wishing to posses one, of which they can claim an exclusive ownership unfamiliar to the musical data strewn across iTunes and Spotify, but still thoroughly compatible with these worlds.

The result of this compositional experiment has been rendered in its entirety as 8,000 tracks — 1,000 variations on an 8-track album — ready to be released at the beginning of 2012 via a custom store that destroys each version as it is sold, handing the rights (and responsibilities) of the recorded work to its buyer. The music of Fake Fish Distribution is a natural progression of Icarus' style, weaving chaos and chance into an awkward narrative of stuttering, stopping-starting spontaneity that all the while resembles 'real' music in its coherence and its engagement of the listener, who may perceive either that something has gone wrong in the strangest of ways, or that a door has been opened into an unfamiliar alternative future.

Keets from not applicable on Vimeo.


BABs is the meeting of three improvising musicians; Alex Bonney (laptop), James Allsopp (bass clarinet) and Olie Brice (double bass). They play freely improvised music involving real-time processing of the two acoustic instruments. All three are involved in numerous jazz and improv projects in London and further afield – too many collaborations to list here! This gig will see the launch of BABs first album, to be released as a CDr and Download as part of the mini-loop series.

BABs - Bonney / Allsopp / Brice by Mystery Plays Records

Alex Bonney website
James Allsopp website
Olie Brice website


Since releasing his earliest records back in 2003, Stefan Panczak, aka Inch-time, has quietly forged an irrepressible niche which has taken on a life of its own. His subtle melding of gleaming electronica and a whole host of other ingredients – from dub to folk textures, and languid jazz stylings to post-rock atmospheres – has evolved to take in new elements while sticking to the unique approach which Panczak has made his signature since his debut album, 2005’s Any Colour You Like.

"Gently burning IDM melancholia from Static Caravan's Inch-time this time rolling on Mystery Plays. He sets up the record with a flex of analogue Kosmische, touches by jazz-flecked electronica and tugs our heart with mournful ambient drones kissed by synth playing that pours down on you like tear-drops. Tip for fans of Susuma Yokota, Isan." – Bleep