Isambard Khroustaliov – Ohka
NO011 – CD Album – Release date 12th October 2009
CD and digital via Not Applicable Bandcamp
Total running time: 55’18"
Written, composed and produced by Sam Britton.
Prepared piano on Ping, Traum and Ohka performed by Gareth Humphreys. Guitar on Aporia and banjo on Junkspace performed by Philippe Pannier. Bass clarinet on Traum performed by Lothar Ohlmeier. Tuba on Traum performed by Oren Marshall. Traum contains short passages of electronic source material by John Wall. Mastered by Will Worsley.
One of mapsadaisical‘s top 20 albums of 2009.
"… a major release by a major artist." mapsadaisical.wordpress.com
"With Icarus, Britton has only just scratched the surface of electro-acoustic composition, but as Isambard Khroustaliov, he is free to push as deep as he can afford to. With Ohka, he does so with panache." themilkfactory.co.uk
Ohka is the first full length solo recording by Isambard Khroustaliov and documents five key pieces which chart the various converging practices that have shaped and informed his musical perspective; from his continuing work with the electronic group Icarus and time spent as a resident composer at IRCAM, to his involvement in improvised music and work for film and animation.
Positioned somewhere between the fictional abandon of a mashup and the contemplated purposefulness of contemporary composed music; Ohka is a uniquely bold musical statement where acoustic instruments, performance and instrumentalism are taken apart, mutated, and reassembled in an electronic zeitgeist of their former selves, in which disjunction and fracture serve as the only concrete musical guides.
Over five years in the making, it is an album that not only documents the author’s struggle with the progressive riddle of our contemporary musical climate but also restlessly leaves no stone unturned in the pursuit of its discourse; from the opening utopianism of Ping via the deconstruction of Aporia to the psychosis of Traum, the post-modern lament of Junkspace and the schizophrenic euphoria of Ohka itself, it is an album whose density and attention to detail make enormous demands on the listener and reward in equal measure.
This release features extensive artwork (incorporating material from the original scores and photographs from the recording sessions) designed by Atelier Elephant; the CD is packaged in a cardboard slipcase and comes with a 460mm x 700mm poster (almost A1 size).
A detailed gallery of photographs of the actual record can be viewed here. The images below detail the individual components as printed.