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fiium shaarrk

Maurizio Ravalico - percussion
Rudi Fischerlehner - drums
Isambard Khroustaliov - electronics

"... tom-drumming trance states ... exploding upwards and outwards into new corners of noise... Exhilarating!"
The Wire on "No Fiction Now!"

"… classic period modernism, Varèse, Berio and Stockhausen in particular, has helped shape an aesthetic otherwise rooted in improv and rock. This is music of fracture that somehow manages to move in continuous sweeps of sound"
Philip Clark, The Wire on "We Are Astonishingly Lifelike"

"A truly innovative trio" Verity Sharp, BBC Late Junction "Earnest, mesmerising and oddly hypnotic." Tom Banham, Jocks and Nerds

"Oddly recalling free music experiments of the late 60s by Spontaneous Music Ensemble if timewarped to a post-rave warehouse ritual on the Moon. Fearless" K.N., Electronic Sound

Five years on from their debut album ‘No Fiction Now!’, Fiium Shaarrk, the trio of Rudi Fischerlehner (drums), Maurizio Ravalico (percussion) and Isambard Khroustaliov (electronics) return with their second album, “We Are Astonishingly Lifelike”. The album documents various stages in the recent life of this continent-scattered ensemble, and was written and recorded in different studios between Berlin, London and various other European cities that have hosted the band for festivals and concerts.

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.

"…we were instantly treated to the sensation of having our bodies invaded by thousands of infinitely complex machine insects. It's rare that a band can have such an instant and disquieting effect, but Fiium Shaarrk's music, we discovered, is as unusual as their name in many ways. (…) They are one of the very few acts I've ever seen who can rival Autechre for inhumanly strange synaesthesic noise-making, but extremely distinctive too: an exciting proposition all round."
Joe Muggs, the arts desk (Live Review)

"…we’re talking, or rather tuned into Fiium Shaarrk, and they just so happen to comprise two of the finest percussionists I’ve seen here or indeed anywhere (…) They’re wholly worth watching."
Josh Holliday, Dots and Dashes (Live Review)

"... verdammt gute Musik."

"... am besten wohl als Post-World-Beat zu bezeichnen ... Fiium Sharrrk liefert mit »No Fiction Now!« den in diesem frischen Genre bislang griffigsten, überzeugendsten Eintrag ab."
Curt Cuisine, Skug

"A prodigious and intense exercise in electro-percussive nu-jazz improvisation that’s both puzzling and mesmerizing ... it seeks to challenge a listener’s normal interpretations of what music is and how it should sound."
DIY magazine

"Hé! Belle surprise, ce disque!"
Monsieur Delire