Novation Spotlight: Icarus

Sharing a long journey through the outer realms of electronic music and having recently signed to FFRR (Full Frequency Range Recordings), we wanted to discover a little more about their background in music making, their greatest inspirations and the setup they used to create the sounds for their first release for the label, 'Unfold'.

Icarus Interview:

Introduce yourselves:

We’re Tom & Ian aka Icarus. We're brothers from Bristol in the UK.

Why did you start making music and how long have you been doing it for?

We both had a fascination with music from a very early age. Whilst at primary school we both experimented with learning to play different instruments like the trumpet, acoustic guitar and even recorder! Then, in our teenage years we settled properly on learning guitar (Ian) and bass (Tom). We used to play in bands together for many years, playing anything from punk to funk, but eventually gravitated towards electronic music around the age of eighteen. We both studied music in Guildford and that’s where we both got into production. We’ve been making music together for over ten years, but Icarus is about six years old.

What/who inspires you?

We take inspiration from all over the place. It can be from an artist one of us is listening to at a particular time, it can be a sound we recorded on our phone, a new plug-in we’ve just downloaded or a production technique we have picked up. We’re constantly trying to get better at what we do, both writing and production wise, so we’d like to think that as a listener, you can hear our sound maturing and developing with each release.

Describe your new release:

Our latest release ‘Unfold’ is our biggest and most important project to date. Its made up of 9 tracks and the concept behind it revolves around transformation, growth and evolution of self. We currently feel we're at a juncture in our lives both personally and in a career sense and that’s really what the idea was born out of. We feel that this music not only marks the closing of a period of time but signifies a fresh, new and exciting one.

What gear did you use?

We used a combination of hardware and software whilst writing ‘Unfold’ and split our time between our studio in Bristol and a couple of different studios in London.

Some of the hardware synths we used were our Novation Peak, Prophet 08 and Moog Voyager. We also used a couple of Mutable Instruments eurorack modules for a few sounds and processing audio for fx. We used the Launchpad pro for sample playback and jamming ideas too.

Software wise, the tracks were produced using both Ableton and Logic Pro. We used a lot of Ableton and Logic stock plug ins as well as UAD (mainly compressors and EQs for vocal and drum processing). Soundtoys and Valhalla were used heavily for reverbs, delays and creating ambient pad textures.

In terms of soft synths, we predominantly used the Arturia and Korg emulations.

Where can people hear your music?

Our next Live UK headline tour is in April at the following venues:

  • 23/04/20 Village Underground, London
  • 24/04/20 Yes, Manchester
  • 25/04/20 The Marble Factory, Bristol

Unfold is released on 13/03/20 and you can check out our music on Spotify.