Like morse code lapping against the rampant stream of everything binary, the minimal groove of Germany's Ikaruswhich is drummer Ramón Oliveras, pianist Lucca Fries double bassist Moritz Meyer and the wordless, gravity-free scat singing of Andreas Lareida and Anna Hirschmakes for an edgy, compelling atmosphere.
Economic to the point of sparseness, Ikarus, like its Ronin Rhythm Records label mate and co-producer Nik Bärtsch, is obsessed with trickier-the-better time changes, colliding counterpoints and evocative duets of insistent pulse.
Exact in execution but never strident, Ikarus draws from wide streamsclassical, avant-garde, prog-rock, swing. Start Mosaismic (a mash-up of mosaic and seismic) anywhere you like, beginning, middle, end, and you'll hear austere contrasts such as "Subzero," where Hirsch matches Fries percussive note for percussive note, giving way to a stirring, polyrhythmic rhapsody that builds and crashes upon itself in a playful sway. The alluring "Meridian" juxtaposes the urban and the organic with a twisting, searing angularity. The spacious "Saiko" and graceful "Cirrus" evidence a band fully evolved and engaged in the act of creating something new potent.