Rudi Fischerlehner / Isambard Khroustaliov – Damaged Hallucinations Live

“During the pandemic, I took a chance and sent Rudi a laptop with some software on it for him to perform with … it got trashed in the post, but Rudi managed to record some improvisations with it before it died. Here they are, a kind of elegy to a computer that I also wrote my PhD on … its damaged hallucinations live on!”

Leverton Fox – In The Flicker

“Leverton Fox are improvisational trio Alex Bonney (trumpet), Tim Giles (drums) and Isambard Khroustaliov (electronics).

‘In The Flicker’ found the group challenging themselves by recording in a Sussex wood, and you can hear chance encounters with the landscape on ‘Amethyst Deceiver’, where a sparseness reveals birdsong and gentle breezes.

In contrast to such delicate moments, the robust ‘LIDAR Hailing UFOs’ is dominated by faltering drum machines, echoing percussion, drone-like swells and unpredictable electronics.

Grounded and naturalistic, yet brilliantly adventurous and otherworldly.”

Electronic Sound Magazine, November 2022.

Isambard Khroustaliov – Shanzhai Acid

“Upon initial examination, the latest album from Isambard Khroustaliov (Sam Britton) is a sprawling, incoherent, fundamentally unnavigable mess of wavering sounds, tense discordancy and angry pulses. 

Even after a few listens, Shanzhai Acid is nigh on impenetrable, enveloping you in a sticky latticework of cross-crossing sounds and faltering non-melodies that bounce, spin and agitate uncontrollably from ear to ear. I played this on a walk through London’s rush-hour streets and somehow the chaos of the ten pieces here felt like the perfect accompaniment to the rabid, focused, bloodthirsty commitment of thousands of commuters trying to get home. 

These observations are not criticisms. Shanzhai Acid is intentionally presented thus. Britton’s latest work takes two disparate inputs as the basis for what is essentially a conceptually auditory study: the inventive Chinese manufacture of cheaply-produced electronic devices, and the cultural hyper-legacy left behind by acid house music. 

Not that you will hear any metronomic beats or aggressively-filtered 303s here. What can be detected, on ‘The Hand Of Mutt’ or ‘Quixotic Algorithmic Hubris’, is a freneticism and restlessness, expressed through algorithms, homegrown artificial intelligence and overlapping parameters. If you squint, you can feel the loved-up embrace of late-80s club music atomised into splinters of uncompromising electronics, assembled together like a badly-soldered printed circuit board. Those sounds rapidly cluster like Instagram ‘likes’ on an advert for a piece of hotly-tipped electronic gadgetry from a brand that you’ve never heard of; they then fall away as quickly after said device arrives in the mail, doesn’t work, and is promptly discarded. Like, buy, receive, replace; like, buy, receive, replace. 

This is not an album for those with a nervous disposition. It is an intense listen from the opening gestures of ‘A History Of Cybernetics’ to the sudden stop of ‘Meanwhile Cephalopods’. It reflects back the manic world we live in, our increasing device dependency and the twitchy, restless state of mind that comes with pixelated overstimulation. Another fine release from Britton which casts electronic sound as the only obvious vehicle for his anthropological observations. ”

Words: Mat Smith @

Der Dritte Stand – 5 Days At Au Topsi Pohl, Berlin

Berliners! Check out Der Dritte Stand’s 5 day programme at Au Topsi Pohl starting Tuesday:



ALCHIMIA ORGANICA – Matthias Bauer & Maria Lucchese 

DUO Matthias Bauer & Anna Kaluza

XENOFOX – Rudi Fischerlehner & Olaf Rupp


FOILS – Matthias Müller & Frank Paul Schubert

With an art exhibition by Maria Lucchese 

Concerts start at 20:30
Au Topsi Pohl, Pohlstraße 64, Berlin

Isambard Khroustaliov – Shanzhai Acid

‘Shanzhai Acid’ takes its inspiration in equal parts from the Chinese culture of imitation electronic products that often surpass that which they imitate through punk customisation, and the ‘psychedelic consciousness’ that Mark Fisher, Jeremy Deller and Florian Hecker, amongst others, have inferred from the social and philosophical catalyst of ‘Acid’ musics.

Manifested via a kind of knock-off orchestra of mutant modules and bastardised synths conducted by DIY machine learning algorithms, it’s a construct designed to explore what kind of auditory trip this combination of opinionated, chaotic sound generators and ML can hallucinate into the world of electronic music minstrelry.

Throw the switch on this frankensteinian analogue computer and vortices of covariance, fractal geometries and nonlinear attractors are born, evolve and die as sonified complex systems in the hands of an omnivalent machine savant. Hundreds of parameters and routing assignments are invoked from hundreds of thousands of training data points, exploding the labyrinth of analogue circuitry into myriad trajectories, sometimes improvising constellations and galaxies of sound that dance and weave before collapsing in on themselves like black holes.

As these nucleic worlds evolve and collide, the rigours of musical analysis spontaneously combust, leaving only a kind of amorphous ectoplasmic string theory of sound. In this effervescent, primordial flux, noiseforms evolve and run amok, speaking in tongues, self-organising and conjuring for their listeners spontaneous creation paradoxes.

“Retrain in Cyber” they said. QED.