Moods 14: Icarus Redux

Published on 2019-02-02

Happy February, bbs. Jan flew by, right? Or did it drag on? It somehow feels both of those to me. Cold and long but thankful we're heading to warmer moments.

This month's mix by the legend Icarus Redux (née Sarvesh Ramprakash), who's worked as a promoter, intern, DJ, and fan in the circles of Ninja Tune, ALPHA PUP,  Dublab, and Rootnote Collective; now, we find him as a cybersecurity professional in the current tundra of Minneapolis. AKA: someone fit to lift our spirits from the cold!

His set breaks new ground for Moods by dividing the mix into three geographies: D.C., LA, and Minneapolis. Listen and read below to hear and learn it all.




Sarvesh grew up in suburban Maryland outside of Washington, D.C. "My parents pushed me into singing Carnatic music at a young age, but I'd say I was surrounded mostly by the media my parents enjoyed—a lot of dubbed cassettes of Carnatic and Hindustani music, Kollywood soundtracks, and the odd, accidental hints at other musical culture (Jean-Michel Jarre's "Oxygene Pt. 4" inexplicably appearing in Mouli's teleplay Flight 172)." With age came a pop wave phase (we all have it, don't deny it). This meant Linkin Park, System of a Down, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, and the Halo and Matrix soundtracks. "I only really started exploring music on my own in high school, sneaking time during computer science classes to look up old Pitchfork reviews and stream music on Pandora."

Electronic music, especially live sets, began a bit later in college around 2011. "The end of both undergrad and a relationship at the time pushed me to make something of myself in the music industry in LA. A few internships and short-lived, underpaid positions later, I had defaulted to a 'regular' white-collar job while promoting warehouse parties. I was falling in love with both the LA beat scene and 'post-dubstep' and UK bass." These influences are why we hear Prefuse 73 and Mount Kimbie in the second phase of his set. 

One track Sarvesh highlights is the iconic "Last Night A DJ Saved My Life," "a reference to a specific Floating Points show in 2015 thrown by my friend Cooper, where I truly, primally understood the euphoria of a good DJ matched with a good sound system and good company," he notes. "But—love breaks down, and I was getting trapped in the darker aspects of club culture. A sudden job transition and shift to Minnesota got me into Midwest techno (fast, dark, acidic), and DJing, but I continued to spiral downward.

"It took a family bereavement and a trip to India for things to reset somewhat, and although I take every recent day one at a time, I can safely say I've learned a lot about myself and my musical interests in the process. Constantly interrogate yourself and your motivations. This music has always, always come from marginalized people, and if you're not making a pipeline to get those people into your shows, on your bills, and integrated into your community, you are part of the problem—and there is very little separating yourself from the big-money operations a few pay grades up."


~DC section~

{field recording - Madurai 1}

{text-to-speech: Delanda Destratified - flows}

A.R. Kane - Long Body (Photonz R.E. Fuck) [unreleased | 2014]

Ilaiyaraaja feat. K. J. Yesudas - Moham Ennum Theeyil [Sindhu Bhairavi OST | Echo |1985]

~LA section~

Sam Gendel - East LA Haze Dream [Pass If Music | Leaving | 2018]

Glowing Palms - Jet Set [RK#7 | Rüf Kutz | 2013]

The Farm - Stepping Stone (Ghost Dance Mix) [Stepping Stone / Family Of Man | Produce | 1990]

Jesse Rae - Umhlaba Jikelele [Compression | Echo Beach | 1996]

Indeep - Last Night A DJ Saved My Life (Vocal) [Last Night A DJ Saved My Life | Sound Of New York | 1982]

Mowgli - Cadence (Mount Kimbie Vocal Tribute) [unreleased | 2012]

Prefab Sprout - When Love Breaks Down (Mishti's Shattered <3 Version) [unreleased | 2018]

{video: Max Hattler - Collision [2005]}

{snippet} Hal Lindsey ‎- The 1980's: Countdown To Armageddon (Side One) [The 1980's: Countdown To Armageddon | self-released | 1980]  

{field recording - Madurai 2}

~MN section~

Pye Corner Audio - Continental Drift [Where Things Are Hollow | Lapsus | 2017]

{snippet} Sven Kacirek & Daniel Mburu Muhuni - The Weather Has Changed So Much [Economic Partnership Agreement | Pingipung | 2017]

Faust vs. Dälek - T-Electronique [Derbe Respect, Alder | Staubgold | 2004]

{reversed} Alan Sparhawk - Sagrado Corazón de Jesú (Second Attempt) [Solo Guitar | Silber | 2006]

{snippet} DJ Krush - From Tragedy [Milight | Mo' Wax | 1997]

Etch - Lost Methods [Old School Methods | Keysound | 2013]  

{text-to-speech: Paranoia and the Technological Sublime in Drum and Bass Music}

R.T.C. - Slightly Damp In A Misty Street [Kale Plankieren: Dutch Cassette Rarities 1981 - 1987 Volume II | Knekelhuis | 2018]

Om Buschman - Hey Tata Gorem (Wolf Müller Edit) [Tropical Drums Of Deutschland | Music For Dreams | 2017]

Issa Bagayogo - Kalan Nege [Tassoumakan | Six Degrees | 2004]

{video: Young Pappy and Budouble - Behind The Scene Of "Whip It" [2015]}

Schoolboy Q - Tookie Knows (Interlude) [Habits & Contradictions | Top Dawg Entertainment | 2012]

Fudge (Michael Christmas x Prefuse 73) - All Points South (feat. D.R.A.M.) [Lady Parts | Lex | 2016]

{snippet} Tricky - Strugglin' [Maxinquaye | Island | 1995] 

PTU - Intact Alef [A Broken Clock Is Right Twice A Day | трип | 2017]

{field recording - Pudukkottai 5}

Seefeel - Lux1 [Starethrough | Warp | 1994]

{field recording - Pudukkottai 3}

{snippets} Stunt Rock - A New Kind of Selfie Stick That Is a Prescription for Anti-Anxiety Medication and Instructions for Asking Passerby to Take Your Photo. [November Drain | Born Dead | 2016]

Cannibal Ox - Scream Phoenix (Instrumental) [El-P Presents Cannibal Oxtrumentals | Definitive Jux | 2002]

Cannibal Ox - Scream Phoenix [The Cold Vein | Definitive Jux | 2001]

akash x Jai Paul - JASMINE 91 [unreleased | 2018]

Elysia Crampton - Lake [Moth / Lake | Boomkat Editions | 2015]

Chris Hinze - Fire The Purifier [Flute And Mantras | Keytone | 1980]

{text-to-speech: Delanda Destratified 2 - a patch of land}  

{field recording - Pudukkottai 8}


I paired Icarus's set with a photography print from Wolfgang Tillmans from 2001—not only because the year fits many of the songs on the set, but the mood of a quick snapshot of time moving forward (like a rainy car ride) echos a lot of the dub, ambient, and early drum and bass tracks we have. It's also a suggestion of sorts: listening to this mix in the car or in transit is the prime time for it.

For more on Wolfgang, head here.

For more on Icarus, head here.