To celebrate the release of Icicle’s third and final album Post, and mark a poignant moment in his 15 year professional career, 1 More Thing has an exclusive mix from the versatile and consistently forward-thinking artist. Half was broadcast on Vision Radio on October 13, but you can check the whole mix in all its multi-tempo, multi-genre glory here. From dubstep to techno via drum & bass. Enjoy and read on for the full tracklist and find out why Icicle is signing out… Plus what he’s going to do next.
“I haven’t thawed out yet… but there’s a puddle starting to form,” laughs Jeroen Snik. He is of course best known to us as Icicle right now, but make the most of that name while you can as he’s beginning to wrap up the project. And he’s more than happy about this situation.
15 years since his first release, 11 years since his first album, 22 years since he first became fascinated with drum & bass as a 15 year old in his local club… It’s time for a new life chapter.
His third album Post captures this poignant moment. Post-career, Post-Icicle, a life Post-covid, in a Post-truth paradigm… Post is a full stop at the end of a long dissertation. One that looks back and ties everything together; his love for techno, his penchant for 140, his strong sense of brutalist futurist funk.
It harbours some of the best tracks of his career such as the loopy rampant technoid mutant Dominate or the sparse hurricane soul of Perspective. As he explains on his recent Vision Radio takeover (embeded below), nostalgia runs throughout the album to the point of characterisation. But never does it feel contrived or like its re-treading old ground. More that he’s making sense of how he’s arrived at this point… And what happens next.
“There was a time when I didn’t want to do another album at all,” he admits. “Then I wanted to do it one more time and explore things I liked that influenced me. A friend once t told me you write an album to sum up everything that came before it and move on. I think it’s nice way of looking at it. A way of rounding things up and looking back.”
“And also a way of thinking about quitting and giving up DJing for a living,” admits Icicle who’d already been contemplating this concept prior to the recent shutdowns we all experience. “It’s hard to keep the energy. The touring schedules, the constant life on the move. Then lockdown happened and it was like, ‘Wow, waking up in my bed every morning. It’s amazing!”
For Jeroen, the lockdown showed him how easy things could be taken away. “Our model of income is so one dimensional,” he explains. “I realised how dependent I was on gigs. No one could see Covid coming, but I could have just as easily fallen down the stairs and broken my leg.”
The reliance on performance for income highlights a much bigger issue in the music industry that affects all creative individuals. Especially those who are unable to perform physically, mentally or geographically. For Icicle, though, there was the growing feeling that he’d said what he needed to say as a DJ. “It’s not through falling out of love for playing because I have really enjoyed it,” he explains. “But it’s no longer a new life experience. You get to place, it’s an awesome crew, an awesome party but you’ve done it a thousand times. Not proverbially but actually a thousand times.”
There were already signs of him looking for fresh challenges as a performer during his Entropy Live shows, a full hardware performance concept where there was no DAW running a backing track and “no chance to stand back and press play” as he said at the time. In fact it was during the live shows that he found his new route in life… 3D modelling. Taking on more and more of the visual side of his Entropy Live concept as the tour progressed and developed, it appealed to his creative logic.
“I realised how close it is to making dance music,” he considers. “When you make music for a club it’s for an empty black box. An empty project – you put tunes in the there, some people in there and create a shared reality. People step into your world. A VR game does the same but much more literally. It has that shared reality. That’s what I’ve found I like the most about it.”
Having set up his own game design company during lockdown, it’s very much a reality for Jeroen and will become more and more so over the next year as he sidesteps into a new creative chapter, making space for new-gen peers who are in a comparable mindset and headspace to where he was during his early breakthrough releases.
“At a certain point you need to sidestep and let these new people with new ideas do things, right?” he asks. “I also think that’s part of it. And also how sustainable is it for a DJ to be flying to shows all the time. It seems like a very old school way of doing things.”
It’s unknown how travel and performing will change in a future where sustainability needs to be prioritised, but we do know that, in the much nearer future, Icicle will be touring Post and saying goodbye to his appreciators before diving deep into his chapter.
And if you think he’s quitting music entirely, think again. Along with good friend and renowned techno artist Darko Esser, he’s built a remarkable studio where the two have pooled their many synths and machines to create what looks like a producer’s playground.
“Oh I’ll never stop making music,” he grins. “I just love it too much to do something functional with it. I’m always open to ideas and let’s see what happens in the future.”
Less of a thawing out, more of an energy transference – Jereon is leaving his Icicle alias on a serious high.