"... 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
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
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
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."