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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


Isambard Khroustaliov is the solo alias of Sam Britton from the electronic group Icarus. Sam trained as an architect at the Architectural Association in London, but took up music full time after securing a recording contract as an undergraduate. Since 1997 he has recorded and released music for a number of independent electronic music labels in the UK and the US (Output Recordings, Temporary Residence, Domino and The Leaf Label) and continues to perform as Icarus (with Ollie Bown) all over Europe. His interest in the relationship between electronic music and instrumental performance has led him to study at IRCAM, undertake a PhD with Richard Barrett and pursue research in residence at STEIM.

Maurizio Ravalico has been living and working in London since 1991. His list of collaborations is probably the best index of his eclecticism and versatility as a percussionist; among them: Jamiroquai, Paul McCartney, Jesus Alemani, Snowboy, Alex Wilson, Dennis Rollins, Greg Osby, Kaidi Tatham, Dego McFarland, Finn Peters, Dele Sosimi, John Edwards, Steve Beresford, Oren Marshall, Shabaka Huchkins, Andrea Parkins, and the choreographers Lea Anderson, Bill T.Jones, Maja Garcìa and Jane Turner. A long-term collaborator with Isambard Khroustaliov, with whom he has released two duo albums, he is also an intermittent presence in the improv and experimental music scene of Berlin, where he has spent a fair deal of time in the last few years. Most of his recent works were released on Not Applicable.

Rudi Fischerlehner works as a drummer and composer in the fields between rock, jazz, improvised and experimental music. As a drummer he´s currently involved with projects Rupp / Müller / Fischerlehner, Percussion-Drums-Electronics trio Fiium Shaarrk, Peter Van Huffel´s Gorilla Mask and in duo with Olaf Rupp as Xenofox. Projects in which he features are often invited to important festivals and clubs worldwide and featured on radio programmes such as Ö1, BBC Radio 3 and Deutschlandfunk. He produced soundtracks to movies and videos by Ella Raidel (Double Happiness), Johanna Kirsch, Katrin Plavcak, Johanna and Helmut Kandl, and works in the fields of performance or multimedia art with artists Wilhelm Groener, Rainer Kohlberger, Haroon Mirza, Paul Hendrikse and Tarek Atoui.