The members of IKARUS take their inspiration from a mix of math rock, free jazz, electronica, and pop. They call their sound ‘evocative jazz.’ KS spoke with drummer Ramon Oliveras from the Swiss outfit about their second trip to Japan.
Could you tell us a little about how the band came together?
We have two singers, Anna Hirsch and Andreas Lareida, the rhythm section formed by pianist Lucca Fries, double-bass player Mo Meyer, and myself as drummer, bandleader, and composer. Ikarus was formed five years ago for my graduation concert from the Zurich University of the Arts, where I studied with my favorite bass player Mo Meyer. The rest of the members are from the Swiss cities Bern, Basel, and Winterthur and I chose them for their unique musicality in the beginning. But because of our extensive touring through Europe and Japan, we have now also formed a deep friendship with one another.
How would you describe the Ikarus sound and live performance to a new audience?
The Ikarus sound is a beautiful tension created between a Nordic European darkness and a sweltering, equatorial color palette. It’s something between the winter pensiveness and melancholia in Hokkaido and the feeling you might get from spending a day in Okinawa. Technically speaking, Ikarus is a volatile mixture that emphasizes polyrhythms, sensual singing, and energetic improvisation. So, for me as a drummer and composer, I’m very much inspired by classical music, experimental pop, and left-field electronics (e.g. Morton Feldman, Meshuggah, The Knife, and Craig Taborn) and I channel their influence in the context of this contemporary jazz formation.
What are you looking forward to on your second trip to Japan?
We’re really looking forward to seeing all the very nice people again who came to our concerts last year. And of course, meeting new ones who we can get excited about our music. We are also especially looking forward to the fantastic Japanese cuisine and to all the other great things you can experience only in Japanese culture.
Swiss evocative-free-jazz group
• Live Spot Rag, Kyoto
• Tel: 075-241-0446