IKARUS (CH)

About

Please note! Evening pass is available for each night of the festival at Harpa Concert Hall. The pass is valid for all concerts on the night. Tickets are not sold for individual concerts in Harpa.

IKARUS is a contemporary / groove / jazz quintet consisting of Ramón Oliveras (composition, drums), Anna Hirsch (vocals), Andreas Lareida (vocals), Lucca Fries (piano) and Mo Meyer (upright bass). Their singular sound is based on continuously permutating polyrhythms, fluctuating grooves, organic improvisations and an enchanting blend of male and female vocals, that let you feel an urge to get up and dance, even though you’ll end up a pile of confused limbs. To date, IKARUS released a total of three LPs on Nik Bärtsch’s boutique label Ronin Rhythm Records and also toured Europe and Japan extensively. They are in the “”high priority jazz program”” of Swiss art council Pro Helvetia, which means they are one of the flagships of the young Swiss

A surprisingly individual signature. A constantly changing mosaic of music..
– Jazzthing (DE)

Quality writing, flawless performances and a resplendently detailed production. A significant release indeed.
– Sid Smith, Prog Magazine (UK)

Fantastic, phantasmagoric, and masterful in its nonchalance, Ikarus is a complete musical experience.
– 5/5, Bud Kopman, Allaboutjazz.com (USA)

– In addition to the minimalistic yet dynamic music, these two voices create an enormous tension. It is beautiful and deeply moving.
– Klassieke Zaken (NL)

– This band is unique. It‘s great fun to listen to their music.
– Real & True (JP)

ABOUT THE ALBUM MOSAISMIC:

A curious thing happens to a band as its sound matures. As the voices of its players continue to fuse ever more seamlessly, their individual styles also come into focus with increasing clarity. In its most literal reading, this is the key idea behind MOSAISMIC, the title of the third full-length record from Swiss contemporary / groove / jazz quintet IKARUS. The word itself was created from the combination of the words: “mosaic” and “seismic”. Mosaic, of course, implies a series of independent elements, which form a pattern or a picture. Seismic, on the other hand, denotes the energy expressed in the form of vibration, which is released by the movement, collision or friction of landmasses.

When every musicians ideas are expressed clearly, and the ear zooms away from the individual pieces, something bigger and more beautiful emerges. At times our opinions clash like tectonic plates and this produces something of a productive earthquake. The energy released then is also registered on the recordings, which definitely reverberates in the listener. – Ramón Oliveras

MOSAISMIC is a record of beautiful contrasts. It’s minimal and austere formally, yet rhapsodic in affect. It invokes organic forms and then juxtaposes them with percussive renditions of angular spaces as elicited by a modern, urban, architectural sprawl. It’s quiet and spacious, at times eruptive and dense. From a compositional point of view the songs here have a tendency towards straightforward, linear melodies – written against each other. As they evolve, they perpetually produce new harmonic and rhythmic relationships. The effect is an ever-shifting sound mosaic, a sonic mobile of sorts.

I wrote this material during my yearlong stay in Berlin. I listened to a lot of electronic music at this time and I also had the opportunity to experience it in gorgeous industrial spaces such as the Kraftwerk or Berghain. You can hear allusions to these experiences on Meridian or the new version of Sub Zero. I gave the music a finishing touch in São Paulo. The playful Brazilian architecture of Oscar Niemeyer and Lina Bo Bardi, and the constant exposure to all these local grooves definitely had an influence on some pieces, as you can hear on Mondrian, Oumuamua or the new version of Ligulin. – Ramón Oliveras

MOSAISMIC was recorded at the Fattoria Musica studio located in Osnabrück, Germany, in three very long days, and was co-produced by Nik Bärtsch. The band arrived at the studio right after a series of concerts, hence the presence and the chemistry captured on the recordings. Those who like to soak up their music on headphones might also discover some quirky details buried in the mix: the crackling of a fireplace, the rattling of a chain placed on the strings of the piano, the use of e-bow etc. With Ikarus, the studio recordings are more of an image of the current state of the project. If you see us playing live in a year from now, the same pieces will sound very different from what’s on the record. The idea of an ongoing evolution and the material being in constant flux became even more important for me in recent years. Sometimes I even wish that this record wouldn’t have so many new songs on it. (laughs) – Ramón Oliveras

Ramón Oliveras is a drummer and composer and lives in Zurich and Berlin. He focuses on his own band IKARUS and his to drums and vocals reduced duo JPTR. Ramón also writes on a future grotesque (together with Tobias Pfister and Noah Punkt), composes and plays music for contemporary dance productions, and is a PR strategist for the label Ronin Rhythm Records. He finished his master of arts in jazz drumming in 2014 and his second Master in contemporary classical composition in 2020 at the Zurich University of Arts. Selection of prizes: 2019 prize residency in Berlin from the Kanton of Zurich, 2017 Composer Exchange Liszt-institute Budapest, 2013 Prize of the foundation Friedl-Wald.

Anna Hirsch graduated in 2018 from Basel University of Arts with a master in jazz vocals and lives in Basel. She sings in her own project Hila Puntur and is a member of the duo FLEEB, Kaspar Grünigen’s impro collective and trio Go Ask Alice. Furthermore, she is co-organizer of the concert series “Laboratorium für frei improvisierte Musik”, co-founder of the Basel label Hout Records and works at the Unerhört Festival. She won the prize of the foundation Friedl-Wald in 2015.

Andreas Lareida graduated in 2011 from Bern University of Arts with a master in jazz vocals and lives in Bern. His ensemble Àgora is working on its second album. He is the artistic director of the performance and dance ensemble Élionne Danse and a regular on the music theater stage of Theater Rigiblick.

Lucca is a pianist and piano teacher from Winterthur. In 2011, he founded the Trance Jazz duo HELY with Zurich drummer Jonas Ruther. Since then, he has been touring regularly in Switzerland, Germany and Russia, and was on tour with Pro Helvetia in 2015 in India. Most recently, in March 2018, the third album Borderland was released on Nik Bärtsch’s label Ronin Rhythm Records. Lucca Fries studied Jazz Piano Performance at the Lucerne University of Art and Music Education at the Zurich University of the Arts.

Moritz Meyer graduated in 2013 with a Master of Arts in double bass at the Zurich University of the Arts. He is known as a versatile and active bassist of the Swiss music scene and lives in Zurich. In addition to Ikarus and the Joscha Schraff Quartet, he also feels at home in pop music. There he is a bassist with The Dubby Conquerors and with them accompanies several big national pop artists like Dodo, Raggabund or Loco Escrito.

Other concerts on the night:

Ingibjörg Turchi (IS)

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