Isambard Khroustaliov - computer, Maurizio Ravalico - percussion, Rudi Fischerlehner - drums
truly innovative trio.
Verity Sharp, BBC Late Junction
Exploding upwards and outwards into new corners of noise... Exhilarating!
Earnest, mesmerising and oddly hypnotic.
Tom Banham, Jocks and Nerds
On the release of their first album, “No Fiction Now!”, the group were described as sounding “like famished animals whipped onwards by drum and hi-hat, processed electronically but gripping onto materiality by their fingernails” (The Wire), and provoking the sensation of being “essentially blind in a fighting circle of beats” (DIY magazine). With “We Are Astonishingly Lifelike”, Fiium Shaarrk expand on these attributes across 7 compositions, each of which explores a different facet of the group’s vocabulary.
As Neil Bennun alludes, in his liner notes for the album, there is a sense in which the results are perhaps best described as a kind of sonic architecture. To quote: “... the music erects its own interior, and we can walk inside to inspect it. It is a modernist edifice decorated with quadruple-time bass drums and ride cymbals and metallic percussion; the skirting boards, carpet and underlay are digital. We have a very disciplined gale of percussion, sub and inscrutable arpeggios. Finally, the source tones peek through. It’s horns, or piano, or glass, or vibraphone. Or none of these.”
The metaphor is further alluded to by the cover artwork, where
Fiium Shaarrk articulate a sense in which they are perhaps best
comprehended as storytellers in a palace of electroacoustic music,
able to pick out and elaborate both micro and macro musical scales
at will, whilst tracing paths that fuse, amongst others, the
footprints of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Edgard Varese and Luciano
Berio with reflections of Batucada, Dub, Post-Rock and
Drum’n’Bass. “We Are Astonishingly Lifelike” renders an improbable
symphony of influences into a uniquely compelling odyssey.