Over the past year or so, Icarus have been fast emerging out of the Bristol scene. Yet another talent emanating for the south west stronghold these two producers don a more sonically unadulterated affair than some of their city’s fellow folk, lacing their melodic club cuts with infectious vocal hooks and receiving support from DJs like Pete Tong, MistaJam and Skrillex’s OWSLA label – with whom they released their debut EP, Steal The Sun in 2014. The duo have also dropped a number of tantalizing tracks since including ‘Missing You’ for the subsoul label as part of their compilation, 2.
And in fact it’s subsoul who are bringing Icarus back to EC1 this Friday alongside Jack Beats and GotSome. So, to garner an indication of what we can expect when they head down to Farringdon we asked if they wouldn't mind providing a new and exclusive promo mix. Not only did they do just that, they also kindly took time out of their busy scheduling promoting their latest track 'Home' to answer a few of our probing questions…
Icarus: We've recently put out our new single called 'Home' which features the vocals of an incredibly talented Norwegian singer called Aurora. The response to the tune & video so far has been amazing, so we couldn't be happier! Aside from that, we've been writing loads and lining up our next release.
How best would you describe your sound?
We've always struggled to describe the ‘Icarus sound’ as it's not something we're overly conscious of when writing music. If we had to though, we'd describe it as progressive dance music that sometimes isn't that progressive or dancey! [laughs] We blend organic and synthesised elements, which provides the backbone to our sound.
Can you tell us about your first contact with music – what kind of music were you both brought up on?
Our first major musical influence growing up was Michael Jackson. We had an older cousin who introduced us to his music from a very early age and we were instantly hooked! We were into all sorts of ‘80s & ‘90s music, really. Our first experience of musical instruments was at primary school, where we tried out various types i.e horns, acoustic guitar, recorder (!) etc.
And how did you get to where you are now in the world of electronic music?
In our teenage years we learnt guitar and bass and performed in several different bands. We played at parties, weddings, grotty clubs, you name it! We had been into all sorts of music up to that point. We'd gone through house, trance, metal, hardcore, rock etc! At college we both discovered drum & bass from being old enough to get into raves, we ended up listening to mix CDs and our love for dance music continued to grow from there. When Tom went to music college, he ended up moving in to a house full of DJs. He learned to mix, started buying vinyl and started to learn production after getting a taste on his course. It's been a long road from there, with both of us putting in years of time learning to write and produce music. Icarus really started to pick up momentum about a year and a half ago when we caught the ear of Cameo on BBC 1Xtra and he started playing one of our tunes. From there things have just grown and grown to the point where we are now!
How would you say you complement each other sonically and how does that resonate throughout your music?
That's a tough question! We're quite lucky in the sense that when we're writing together we tend to end up liking the same sorts of ideas and sounds, so progressing with a tune never really causes any conflicts. I guess we both just bring ideas from our influences or things that we may have heard recently and liked. We just try loads of different things until something sticks!
Production wise, what have you got forthcoming?
We're just finishing up our next single which should be out around the end of spring. We've been playing it a lot in our DJ sets so we're excited to get it.
Can you tell us a bit about the mix you’ve recorded for us. Is it an indication of what we can expect from you in a couple weeks?
It's a pretty clear indication of what we're about, right now. It's the sort of set we may play in a club but we don't plan sets, we just see what the vibe is and go from there!