Keeping a finger on the pulse

Explore - page 3

A Dream Within A Dream

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Words by Wim Van Hooste The review was originally printed in Reykjavík On Stage (Issue 3) It has been three years since Epic Rain released their debut album, Somber Air,on the Lucky Records label. The band is the outlet of vocalist Jóhannes Birgir Pálmason. The departure of male co-vocalist Bragi has left more space for the vocal chords of singer Ingunn Erla Sigurðardóttir. The music is rooted in underground and alternative hip-hop, but in more recent years, Epic Rain began including aspects of cabaret, dark folk, country and blues in their music. Epic Rain’s lyrics are evocative and haunting, describing…

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Mimra – Sinking Island

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Words by Stína Satanía The review was originally printed in Reykjavík On Stage (Issue 3) Sinking Island, a new album by MIMRA, is a fascinating treat on the subject of vocal experiences. Hidden under the name MIMRA, singer, producer and composer María Magnúsdóttir offers powerful and dramatic vibes. Her electro-acoustic folk pop arrangements are bold and rich, and her beautiful voice is indeed striking. María has been active on the local music scene – especially the jazz scene – for quite some time. Her previous experiences with electro-pop duo Early Late Twenties gave her a base to work on her…

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The Jazzy Queen of Spades

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Words by Stína Satanía Most Icelanders first heard about Sólrún Mjöll Kjartansdóttir in 2012. At the age of 16, she participated in a famous young talents contest called the Battle of the Bands (Músíktilraunir) in Reykjavík. In the 30-year-long history of the competition, it was the first time that a girl was crowned best drummer of the competition. (more…)

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Q&A w/Birgir Jón ‘Biggi’ Birgisson

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Words by Bartek Wilk Photo by Nadia Gottfried Birgir Jón ‘Biggi’ Birgisson – head sound engineer at Sundlaugin Studio Sundlaugin is one of the most famous recording studios in Iceland. How do you feel holding the responsibility for such a remarkable place in your hands? Do you feel any pressure? No pressure, no. I feel really proud about all the great music that has been made here in the past 15 years, I think we have managed to make a great place for musicians to create in so…. yeah. Proud would probably describe it pretty well. (more…)

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Funeral And Rebirth

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Words by Stína Satanía Photo by Sigga Ella (www.siggaella.com) HEIÐRIK first drew my attention in 2013 when the amazing Faroese artist Eivør released a video for her song True Love, directed by a certain Heiðrik á Heygum. I quickly learned that this Faroese citizen currently based in Reykjavík has many feathers in his cap – he’s a visual artist, film director and musician. After I discovered his incredible sense of fragility and the thrilling dark atmosphere of his previous works, I couldn’t wait for his album Funeral, released in Iceland last September. When he was signed on independent Polish label…

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The Icelandic Corner of Melodica Festival

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Words by Stína Satanía The international Melodica Festival is a unique musical feast that gathers together emerging singer-songwriters from different parts of the world to expand the community and support the artistic network. Pete Uhlenbruch developed the concept of the festival in Melbourne, Australia, at the end of 2007, and it quickly spread overseas. Now, Melodica takes place in different cities around the world, such as Hamburg, Aarhus, Berlin, Paris, Vienna, New York and, of course, Reykjavík. This year, the festival celebrated its tenth Icelandic anniversary at Kex Hostel with three full days of music. (more…)

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Bedroom Community

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Words by Bartek Wilk Looking through Bedroom Community’s catalogue, you will simply find 30 releases. The first from the label was Nico Muhly’s Speaks Volumes, released on 25th November 2006. And the latest one is from Ben Frost — The Centre Cannot Hold (29th September 2017). But there is much more to the story of this world-renowned collective. The beginning We have to go back to 1997 to Breiðholt (literally ‘wide hill’) in the suburbs of Reykjavík, Iceland. Since the 1970s, Breiðholt has been a community full of youngsters, working class people and non-Icelandic immigrants. That’s the place where Valgeir…

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Crass, White Punks On Hope

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Words by Wim Van Hooste They said we were trash Well the name is Crass, not Clash They can stuff their punk credentials Cos it’s them that take the cash What’s the link between the label/band Crass and Iceland? Let me try to explain… What about Crass? No cult of personality In 1977, the English collective and punk rock band CRASS was formed. These ‘pur sang’ anarchists promoted anarchism as a political ideology, a way of life and a resistance movement. The anarcho-punk movement of CRASS was about the punk subculture, advocating direct action, animal rights and environmentalism. The ‘Do…

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Keep Your Finger On The Pulse! #02

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Words by Stína Satanía It’s that time of the year again: Iceland Airwaves is coming! It’s simply the biggest sonic feast for the Icelandic music scene, and us fans can feel our pulse rising to dangerous heights from sheer excitement. We’d all love to be able to clone ourselves just for this one week, just to be able to see all of our favorite artists. Here are a few acts that you absolutely shouldn’t miss in the on or off venues: (more…)

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Hildur: My 10 Most Influential Icelandic Albums Of All Time

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Photo by Saga Sig Singer, songwriter and producer Hildur is best known from the pop ensemble Rökkurró, where she played cello. She also toured a lot with pianist and composer Ólafur Arnalds. Hildur then decided to continue her vibrant, decade-long music career on her own and released a debut EP last May, entitled Heart to heart. Her positive music gained her a lot of attention both in her homeland and internationally. We are glad to present 10 of the most influential Icelandic albums of all time carefully chosen by Hildur. (more…)

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Sometimes Hearing Is Believing

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Words by Wim Van Hooste The review was originally printed in Reykjavík On Stage (Issue 2) Ruddinn was once a solo project of einzelgänger Bertel Ólafsson. Today he teams up with vocalist Heiða Eiríksdóttir (Unun, Hellvar, heidatrubador) to produce some more electronic music in his studio in suburbia Hafnarfjörður. On this fourth Ruddinn album, More music than music (Möller Records), every song is dominantly driven by the crystal clear vocals of Heiða. The long player has a more mature feel than the previous releases, Ruddinn (2006), 2 (2008) and I need a vacation (2012). The latest sounded like Unun was…

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