After meeting the boys in a dingy Brooklyn warehouse 4 years ago we’ve been following the growth and evolution of Icaro closely. Throughout those 4 years their sound and style has been brewed into a potent blend of tribal rhythms and ancient oscillations. A mixture that Pat and Jeff believe provides the listener with much more than your average sonic experience. Each of their songs is a maze guide, showing you the way back to that place in your heart where there is no time. It is with great pleasure that we release Invocation their 5 track EP that we believe is their finest work to date. Place yourself between two high quality speakers or studio grade headphones and allow the the sounds of Icaro’s to guide you home. As you listen through, enjoy the interview below for insights into Icaro’s production, live and collective endeavors.
[LiS]Explain to us each of your roles in the studio production process.
[Icaro]We usually come up with our own ideas separately and then get together to refine them or trade them back and forth until we feel they are complete. We hope to have more time to devote to collaborative studio sessions like we did when we first established Icaro around 2012.
Describe to us what an Icaro is.
[Icaro] According to the ancient Shipibo traditions of Central America an icaro is a song sung by a healer shaman in order to invoke a spectrum of different reactions from within the participant during spiritual ceremonies. The shamans generally sing in a spirit dialect that is a mixture of their native language and different evocative sounds or vocables. Icaros represent a system of communication between the shaman and the spirits, and the shaman and the participants. The shamans believe that every living thing has an icaro and that these icaros can be learned.
What made you chose this as your project title?
[Icaro] For us the idea of the icaro seemed to fit perfectly with our artistic mentality and what we are trying to find within ourselves and express to those willing to vibe with similar frequencies.
What does your live stage setup consist of?
[Icaro] First off, we sync up our Ableton sets via a wireless LAN connection to stay on point with each other for BPM changes and such. We run our separate soundcard outputs into our own mixer which then runs out to the house, so we can have more control over our own processing before it reaches the audience’s ears. Jeff launches and mixes the stems of our tracks with an APC40. Pat uses a Launchpad and Launch Control XL to trigger separate clips and samples to add a unique and improvised aspect to each live performance.
What does your home studio consist of?
[Icaro] We each have our separate “ohmbasses” both consisting of similar setups. We both use Ableton Live for production as well as performance. Our monitoring consists of Yamaha HS80Ms and Dynaudio BM12As. We like to use samples that tickle our fancies as well as our own foley works, (plus a few synths and FX units) but we mostly work in-the-box.
What are a few non electronic musical influences?
[Icaro] Both of us grew up playing guitar and other misc. instruments so there are many live bands that have greatly impacted our musical progression.
[Pat]: I have always been a fan of a wide range of live music. To name a few; Radiohead, Battles, STS9, Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd and so on. More recently I have really come to love that which is influenced by the traditional music styling’s of foreign cultures including Loop Guru, Bhakta, Amanaska & Kaya Project.
[Jeff]: Anything from lot of progressive/ambient/heavy/
Any notable performances coming up?
[Icaro] We will be performing at Fractalfest 2015 in NY at the end of July as well as Shamanic Boom: Journeys in WY at the end of August. And maybe a few things in between or after so stay tuned!
Tell us about your role with Fractaltribe(NewEngland)
[Icaro] Fractaltribe is our family. We were lucky to meet them while attending their events a few years back. After they saw us perform at Camp Coldbrook in 2012 we were asked to join the crew. Since then we have witnessed the magnificent growth within this collective of hard-working beings. We help whenever we are able and are super happy to assist in co-creating this experience for newcomers to the tribe. We would not be where we are today without the opportunities they have given us. We are eternally grateful to all of them for the intention they put forth in their mission to spread conscious music and art through family-style, transformative gatherings. Nothing but love for the Tribe!
If you could collaborate with any modern composer/producer who would it be and why?
[Icaro] Oh man sooooo many to choose from, I’ve found that almost every collaboration is a learning process and that aspect for us is golden. That being said, for me (Jeff), one of my favorite composers I’d love to work with would be Hans Zimmer. I feel, like an onion, there would be many layers of knowledge and inspiration to peel from that mind 🙂
[Pat]: I have been massively influenced by the sounds of Land Switcher recently and would be honored to work with them. Also Drumspyder or Shaman’s Dream have been very inspirational. It would be a huge accomplishment to collaborate, or remix some of their tunes.
Link us to your favorite free VST
[Icaro]We both enjoying using the native offerings from Ableton but other than that we really like products from FabFilter, U-He Zebra, and Voxengo SPAN. It’s all about what you have and how well you can use it. We have both learned from trial and error that it is better to start with less and learn them to the best you can and expand from there. Otherwise things can start to stack up and get easily overwhelming.
As a performing act, where do you see Icaro next year this time and what are you doing to reach those goals.
[Icaro] Living 40 minutes apart and both working full time jobs, we have learned to utilize technology in order to connect and maintain the cycle of musical inspiration between us, that will hopefully further propel our icaros into this universe. We hope to keep expanding our vibrational resonances as far as possible. We have many, many new songs/collaborations/remixes in the works as well as another EP and a full length album in the pipeline. Stay tuned <3