Keeping a finger on the pulse

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Right Where MIMRA Belongs

At the beginning of this year, the electro-acoustic orchestral pop music project MIMRA released its latest single ‘Right Where You Belong’. Behind the project is María Magnúsdóttir, born in Iceland in 1984. María is a singer, composer, producer, and music teacher as well as a vocal tutor. Even before releasing her solo material as MIMRA, she had gained well-earned attention throughout the years for her wide-range jazz vocals and distinctive musical arrangements. María carves her own sonic space between the electronic vibes of beats, loops and synths, and multi-layered classic arrangements. We met on the occasion of her single release to talk about her musical path. Musical Upbringing Perhaps María’s parents were not deeply immersed in music, but María still grew up in a house with a record player and a few albums. The music heard in her home ranged from Vivaldi to classical and church music to…Stuðmenn. ‘I think… Keep Reading

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Ásgeir – Bury The Moon

I thought my head was going to explode with the very first bone-crushing, thick, distorted, nine-string guitar riff, immediately followed by one of the most bloodcurdling metal growls ever heard, so brutal I thought a demon would… Wait, that’s not right. Oh! Ásgeir! Right! Sorry. Ásgeir’s newest release, Bury the Moon, is a modern electronic/acoustic classic, overlapping with imagination, sou and soundscapes and immersed in the nature sounds of Iceland, his home country. I was already looking forward to this album after hearing his early, solid singles, such as ‘Pictures’; the nature-infused, lyrical, storytelling ‘Youth’ (which is accompanied by a great music video); and the thick bass, imagination-tickling ‘Lazy Giants’. I found myself pleasantly surprised with the entire work! After digging into the songs between the singles, I found that Ásgeir had created a well-constructed and powerful work of art. It took no time at all to find the great… Keep Reading

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Storm warning: Hurricane KARÍTAS is here

Last year, I fled dark and stormy Iceland and travelled to a nicer climate on the other side of the globe for the winter. However, for some unexplainable reasons, even while enjoying the sun on my balcony, I still get homesick! My cure for that horrid feeling: a five-track album called Songs 4 Crying, released in late 2019 by a relatively unknown artist. Her name is KARÍTAS. The feeling starts creeping up on you from the very start, during the shadowy vocal echoes of the intro. By leaning into the melancholic hopelessness of the dark and gloomy Icelandic winter, I find the remedy for my homesickness. After a second listen, the singer’s references to the other songs on the album become noticeable, and all the admirable work that went into the debut EP of KARÍTAS is apparent. Having such a developed and unique sound on your very first release is… Keep Reading

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Nostalgic boys or explosive musicians? Lucy In Blue Q&A

‘We’re just nostalgic boys, rarely connecting with the current trends in popular music. We just wanted to make some rock and roll, but with a dynamic flow and sophistication’ describe themselves Lucy In Blue, a rock quartet formed in 2013 by Arnaldur Ingi Jónsson (keys, vocals), Steinþór Bjarni Gíslason (guitar, vocals), Matthías Hlífar Mogensen (bass) and Kolbeinn Þórsson (drums). A few months after the formation of the band they took the stage by storm at the annual young talents music contest Músíktilraunir and got the 2nd place. No doubt, one can’t resist their explosive pure joy of live performance. 2019 was favourable to Lucy In Blue. Their sophomore album, In Flight, went out on 12th April that year via Norwegian label Karisma Records. Its release show took place at Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands, as the band’s potential was noticed by Walter Hoeijmakers, the artistic director of the festival. The… Keep Reading

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Myrkvi

Myrkvi is Magnús Thorlacius’ moniker as a solo musician, but some might already discover him as a member of an indie rock band called Vio. The band won the Icelandic annual Battle of the Bands (Músíktilraunir) in 2014, and Magnús was named the Best Singer of that edition. Critically acclaimed band´s debut was showered with several awards’ nominations. Sonic experience growing step by step and determination in the creative process have led Magnús to release his first solo song ‘Sér Um Sig’. Check it out! Myrkvi plans to take the world by storm in 2020, presenting a fresh sound to all fans of Icelandic indie music. The force is strong with this one, as he kicks off his live shows thread right away in Germany! ‘Sér Um Sig’ is just a beginning, to be followed by more songs and an album release in the summer. Myrkvi’s music makes you feel… Keep Reading

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REYKJAVIK METALFEST – 1st EDITION

PROLOGUE In early springtime, in the dark, I left Paris and its shiny bridges to return to the lights of Reykjavik’s foggy bay. Here, everything rises again and again and turns into an improbable truth. Follow me on this journey to Reykjavík and forget everything you thought you knew about it. REYKJAVÍK METALFEST – ORGANISATION TEAM It’s nice weather today, perfect for thanking the organisation team: Gísli Sigmundsson, Aðalsteinn Magnússon, Unnar Sigurðsson, Ingólfur Ólafsson (in Europe at the time of the festival, managing the Devine Defilement Tour), Nansý Guðmundsdóttir, Steingrímur Óskarsson and Gerður Sif. The last three gatherings of Reykjavík Deathfest didn’t smash the will of the team that rebuilt a new concept this year—Reykjavík Metalfest—which is stronger and smarter and aspires to expose the masses to extreme metal. The organisers all have a firm hand, gloved in velvet. These determined, indestructible souls made their dream come true for the… Keep Reading

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GYDA Q&A

Gyða Valtýsdóttir rose to prominence with electronic experimentalists múm, the lauded Icelandic group that led the charge in the country’s fertile underground scene in the early 2000s and rightfully gained international recognition. She left the band to pursue her studies as a cellist, and in 2017, she released the album Epicycle with her unique interpretations that reach into the core of music. Evolution, her sophomore solo album, released in 2018 and co-produced by Alex Somers, features original compositions and many remarkable collaborators. Bartek Wilk takes a look into the unique sonic landscape of GYDA’s Evolution. BW: To start, I would like to ask about your relationship with the cello. When did it appear in your life? Was it your first love? Was it a reciprocal one? GV: I started playing the cello at the age of 7. I knew nothing about it, but my older sister told me that it… Keep Reading

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(We) Made (God) in China

Iceland’s post-metal and post-rock veterans, We Made God, celebrated 15 years in the business last year. The band’s main man and songwriter, Magnús Bjarni Gröndal, and the band’s fresh blood, guitarist Rúnar Sveinsson, discuss their long history in the local music market and their tour in China in December 2018. I can’t deny that albums released on my birthday are kind of special to me. And Beyond the Pale by We Made God, the band’s third full-length recording that was released in May 2018, is no exception. Although they might not seem to have been very active on the local scene lately, their position in the Icelandic music scene has remained steady. We Made God are notable for infusing picturesque and spacious sonic landscapes with post-hardcore elements, soaring guitars and emotive vocals, as their China tour in December 2018 underlined. If you enjoy the melodic sensibilities of Deftones and the… Keep Reading

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Blóðmör – Líkþorn

Winning Músíktilraunir has served as the launching point for a number of outstanding performers. Mammút (2004), Agent Fresco (2008), Vök (2013) and a little folk ensemble you may have heard of called Of Monsters and Men (2010) are all prior winners who have gone on to give us some brilliant music. In 2019, it was a young metal trio that took top honours and found itself poised on the precipice of success. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for the coming of Blóðmör. In June 2019, Blóðmör released their EP entitled Líkþorn, marking a return to metal’s roots. This EP consists of five songs of raw metal ore mined from deep within the earth, unrefined and unpolished, yet full of limitless promise. The riffs forced me to dust off my air guitar because you can’t sit still whilst listening to Líkþorn and these riffs beg to be imitated. The music demands… Keep Reading

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Ottoman

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Icelandic hard rock Ottoman comes back to hit the local rock scene with huge power. Famous for their explosive performances both in Iceland as well as abroad, the band still doesn’t lack energy. Their sound goes full-on rock’n’roll with vigorous and driving guitar riffs, tough and powerful basslines and massive drums. These sounds make Ottoman the purveyor of melodic and dynamic vibes that have the potential to become brainworms. This groove-infested material will pop up at the least expected moment during your daily routing, making you crave more Ottoman insanity. These guys sharpen their fangs with rough and heavy singles ‘Fire in a Hole’, ‘Perfect Way To Go’ and ‘Burn the witch’ that announce their promising full-length debut album coming soon. This band should truly be on your radar for their future releases. Photo by Marinó Flóvent Follow Ottoman: www: ottomanofficial.com Facebook: ottomanband… Keep Reading

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