miðvikudagur, desember 31, 2008

Best Icelandic Progressive Rock Albums (1967-1982) - A list made by Arlequins Webzine

Best Icelandic Progressive Rock Albums (1967 - 1982)
A list by Arlequins Webzine on Rate Your Music [List103432]
Rating System:
* ~ 6 1/2
** ~ 7
*** ~ 7 1/2
**** ~ 8
***** ~ 9
****** ~ 10
Part 1: Fundamental Albums
Hinn Íslenski Thursaflokkur or
Hinn Íslenzki Þursaflokkur "Þursabit" Avg. Rating: ***

Part 2 - Recommended Albums
Andrew - Change (1974) Avg. Rating: *

Eik "Hríslan Og Straumurinn" (1977) Avg. Rating: ***

Icecross "Icecross" (1973) Avg. Rating: **

Jónas og Einar "Jonas og Einar" (1972) Avg. Rating: **

Manar "Mánar" (1971) Avg. Rating: *

Náttúra "Magic Key" (1972) Avg. Rating: **

Óðmenn "Óðmenn" (1970) Avg. Rating: *

Pelican "Uppteknir" (1974) Avg. Rating: *

Spilverk Þjóðanna "Spilverk Þjóðanna" (1975) Avg. Rating: *

Spilverk Þjóðanna "Ísland" (1978) Avg. Rating: *

Svanfridur "What's Hidden There?" (1972) Avg. Rating: **

Thokkabot "Frafærur" (1976) Avg. Rating: *

Hinn Íslenski Þursaflokkur "Hinn Íslenski Þursaflokkur" (1978) Avg. Rating: ***

Hinn Íslenski Þursaflokkur "Á Hljómleikum" (1980) Avg. Rating: *

Trúbrot "Undir Áhrifum" (1970) Avg. Rating: *

Trúbrot "....Lifun" (1971) Avg. Rating: **

Part 3: Other mentioned Albums
Other albums and artists that have been named during the discussion, where at least one of the participants thought them deserving to enter the final prospect, but didn't receive enough votes.

Change "Change "(1974)
Eik "Speglun" (1976)
Axel Einarsson "Acting Like a Fool" (1976)
Geysir "Hljómsveitin" (1974)
Sigrun Harðardóttir "Shadow Lady" (1976)
Hljómar "Hljómar "(1967)
Hljómar "Hljómar II" (1968)
Hljómar "Hljómar '74" (1974)
Jóhann G. Jóhannsson "Langspil" (1974)
Maggi - Clockworking Cosmic Spirits (1973)
Magnús Og Jóhann "Magnús og Jóhann" (1973)
Megas "Millilending" (1975)
Ómar Óskarsson "Middle Class Man" (1974)
Paradis " Paradis" (1976)
Pelican "Lítil Fluga" (1975)
Puridur & Pálmi "Syngja Log Eftir" (1973)
Spilverk Þjóðanna "Götuskór" (1976)
Spilverk Þjóðanna "Sturla" (1977)
Spilverk Þjóðanna "Bráðabirgðabúgí" (1979)
Þokkabót "Upphafid" (1974)
Þokkabót "Bætiflakar "(1975)
Þokkabót "I Veruleik" (1978)
Gunnar Þórðarson "Gunnar Þórðarson" (1975)
Trúbrot "Trúbrot" (1969)
Trúbrot "Mandala" (1972)
Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson "Með sínu nefi" (1976)

Arlequins @ www.myspace.com/arlequins

þriðjudagur, desember 30, 2008

Top 10 of Best Icelandic Albums of 2008 according to Egill Harðar

TOP 10 Bestu íslensku plöturnar according to Egill Harðar of www.egillhardar.com & Rjóminn)
1. 200.000 Naglbítar og Lúðrasveit verkalýðsins - "200.000 Naglbítar og Lúðrasveit verkalýðsins"
2. Sigur Rós - "Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust"
3. Sin Fang Bous - "Clangour"
4. Benni Hemm Hemm - "Murta St. Calunga"
5. FM Belfast - "How to Make Friends"
6. Megas & Senuþjófarnir - "Á morgun"
7. Emiliana Torrini - "Me and Armini"
8. Retro Stefson - "Montana"
9. Geir Harðar - "Týndi Sauðurinn"
10. Borko - "Celebrating Life"
Source: Egill Harðar
This was Egill Harðarson's TOP 5 List in Fréttablaðið Newspaper:
1. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum …
2. Benni Hemm Hemm – Murta St. Calunga
3. FM Belfast – How To Make Friends
4. Megas & Senuþjófarnir – Á morgun
5. Emiliana Torrini – Me And Armini

Best Icelandic Albums of 2008 according to Rjóminn Website

Topp 20 íslenskar plötur 2008 - TOP 20 of Best Icelandic Albums of 2008
#20 Evil Madness "Demoni Paradiso" (5 Points)
#19 We Made God "As We Sleep" (6 Points)
#15-18 Megas & Senuþjófarnir "Á morgun" (7 Points)
#15-18 Jóhann Jóhannsson "Fordlandia" (7 Points)
#15-18 Hugi Guðmundsson "Apocrypha" (7 Points)
#15-18 Benni Hemm Hemm "Murta St. Calunga" (7 Points)
#14 Mammút "Karkari" (9 Points)
#13 Introbeats "Tivoli Chill Out" (10 Points)
#12 Lay Low "Farewell Good Night's Sleep" (11 Points)
#11 Bragi Valdimar Skúlason og Memfismafían "Gilligill" (12 Points)
#10 Borko "Celebrating Life" (13 Points)
#9 Agent Fresco "Lightbulb Universe" (14 Points)
#8 Múgsefjun "Skiptar skoðanir" (15 Points)
#7 Klive "Sweaty Psalms" (17 Points)
#5-6 200.000 Naglbítar og Lúðrasveit verkalýðsins "200.000 Naglbítar og Lúðrasveit verkalýðsins" (18 Points)
#5-6 Retro Stefson "Montaña" (18 Points)
#4 FM Belfast "How to Make Friends" (21 Points)
#3 Emiliana Torrini "Me & Armini" (31 Points)
#2 Sin Fang Bous "Clangour" (38 Points)
#1 Sigur Rós "Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust" (43 Points)
Source: Rjóminn

Rough Trade Records Emiliana Torrini "Jungle Drum" Remix Contest

Rough Trade Records Emiliana Torrini "Jungle Drum" Remix Contest.
This Contest is running from 1. November 2008 until 31. January 2009 on the FOEM Website: http://foem.info

Emiliana Torrini "Dead Duck" Unofficial Video

Emiliana Torrini
"Dead Duck", a song of her latest Album "Me and Armini"


Videos shot in Iceland - Part 10: "Today The Sun's On Us" of Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Sophie Ellis-Bextor
"Today The Sun's On Us"
The 3. Single of the Album "Trip The Light Fantastic".
Directed by Sophie Muller.


Árstíðir & Svavar Knútur in Concert @ Fríkirkja, Reykjavík 30. December

The band Árstíðir and Svavar Knútur (of Hraun fame) are in concert tonight @ Fríkirkja Church, Reykjavík, near Tjörnin Pond 30. December.
Start @ 20:00
Tickets @ Midi: www.midi.is


mánudagur, desember 29, 2008

Iceland's Music Scene in Music Week (January 2007)

Iceland's music scene looks set to erupt
Article in Music Week
27. January 2007

On the back of renewed investment from Iceland's business and Government, the international market has good reason to warm to the country's music scene, writes Olaf Furniss.

When representatives from Icelandair and Reykjavik City Council joined Airwaves festival co-founder Thorsteinn Stephensen to announce a four- year sponsorship deal last October, it marked an unprecedented level of support for the Icelandic music scene.
This long-term commitment reflects how far the festival has come since beginning in a hanger in 1997. And it also symbolises a growing awareness at government and business level, that supporting Icelandic music makes economic and cultural sense. Not only does Airwaves attract more visitors to the Icelandic capital than any other event, it is now a firm fixture on the international music industry calendar.
"There is a cross-party commitment to support culture," explains Visit Reykjavik marketing manager Dora Magnusdottir. "Björk and Sigur Ros have done more than most ambassadors - their influence is huge."
While several government ministries and Iceland's largest bank, Landsbanki, are funding 85% of the newly created Iceland Music Export , other investors are also looking for opportunities.
Among them is the recently created company Tonvis, backed by the FL Group investment company and headed by entrepreneur Tryggvi Jonsson. Its model is based on forming joint ventures to launch acts with international potential. These include girlband Nylon, platinum-selling Icelandic tenor Gardar Thor Cortes and indie act Bang Gang.
Jonsson believes that in addition to cash-rich companies taking an increasingly international outlook, the increase in private finance can also be attributed to many younger Icelandic CEOs being music lovers.
"For our generation, music has had a big impact on our lives," he says, citing a band formed by the CEO of Icelandair and the head of Iceland's Export Council which came together to entertain fellow members of the Round Table charity.
There are also signs that established players are beginning to develop the music-related divisions of their business. Iceland's largest media group, 365, owns the Sena label, which licenses most international repertoire signed to major labels. However, in 2002 it also acquired digital music company D3, a sign that it is embracing the potential of online music opportunities. D3 includes the country's only download service, Tonlist, as well as internet label Cod Music.
Founded by musician Stefan Hjorleifsson, who continues as its managing director, the company has been active in pushing domestic talent with an eye on international markets.
Cod Music is being used as an online incubator label and began life in 2005 when it gave 15 acts a day in the studio, to record a demo. Seven were selected to play showcases to gauge audience response, with sister company Sena picking up female singer Lay Low and controversial rock/electronica crossover band Dr Mister & Mr Handsome, for a physical album deal.
High sales of downloads and ringtones for each act paved the way for successful CD releases and helped build a local fanbase.
"Dr Mister would never have made a deal with Sena without Cod Music," says Hjorleifsson, who is active in pursuing sync opportunities for his acts as part off his promotional strategy.
Tonlist is also providing a useful means for marketing talent, with its popularity among consumers leading to the creation of a "singles" chart, in a market where the physical format has not existed.
Its current catalogue consists of some 60,000 tracks by Icelandic artists, but Tonlist is now negotiating directly with the majors to sell international repertoire and aims to have the deals concluded within the year.
Although it offers individual tracks for sale, 80% of its revenue comes from subscribers, of which 15% are from outside Iceland.
This has provided a useful addition to labels, generating both additional income and a means to gauging the international potential of an act.
"The internet makes it easier to test the market," explains Larus Johanneson, owner of the 12 Tonar record shop and the label of the same name. He cites the surprise popularity of Brynhildur Gudjonsdottir in South Korea, where her accordion-based covers of Blondie, Edith Piaf and Grace Jones songs, led to a licensing deal following healthy download sales.
Although the pioneering Smekkleysa label, co-owned by former members of the Sugarcubes, has done direct deals with key download services such as iTunes, Napster and eMusic, it has also experienced unexpected benefits from online distribution. Its signings Ske and Jaguar have proved particularly popular with iTunes customers.
"It goes to show that digital sales don't always follow the patter of physical sales," says Smekkleysa UK label manager Anna Hildur.
However, she is realistic when it comes to the commercial benefits of digital distribution. "At present, it offers a complementary income, rather than paying for the recording of the next album," she says.
With a diverse catalogue including punk act Minus, the first Sigur Ros album and even contemporary classical recordings, Smekkleysa has been at the forefront of pushing its repertoire outside Iceland.
Four years ago, it launched its Pinnacle-distributed UK label in order to guarantee its acts a British release. At the time, many Icelandic acts were looking to the US to break their artists, a tendency which in part was motivated by the large number of American A&Rs attending Airwaves.
However, the past two years have seen an increasing tendency to look to the UK and other European territories. Airwaves 2006 marked the first time that the majority of visitors came from Europe (over 60%) rather than North America. In fact, demand for flights from London was so high, that it could only be covered by other airlines after Icelandair sold out.
"The process of further exploitation starts in the UK, even for some US artists," says Asi Jonsson, head of Smekkleysa.
At 12 Tonar, Larus Johannesson has learned through bitter experience, after five Stateside tours by the Singapore Sling failed to lead to the expected breakthrough. "The Americans know how to express themselves, they say `it's great' and then you never hear from them again!" he says.
Now 12 Tonar is looking closer to home, having recently opened a store and distribution service in Copenhagen. "For us the next logical step is to go to Scandinavia," he says.
While there is increasing international focus within the Icelandic scene, there are signs that the acts which emerged in the late Nineties, are now proving to be the dominant influences on young bands. A case in point are keyboard-based punks Ultra Mega Technobandid Stefan, whose sound is reminiscent of Apparat Organ Quartet, while their stage show displays the energy of Minus.
According to Airwaves co-founder Stephensen, the recent rise of electronic bands is not surprising.
"Iceland has always liked electronic stuff, but the DJ scene here collapsed because the music also needs a face," he says.
In 2006, Stephensen launched the Rite Of Spring festival in Reykjavik, with a focus on folk, jazz and world music. Indicative of the broad tastes of Icelandic audiences, it also reflects a continuing tendency among musicians to experiment and combine different genres.
"You are seeing a lot of cross fertilisation among Icelandic musicians, they are always on the look out for a new sound," explains Icelandic Music Information Centre director Sigfridur Bjornsdottir.
Her views are echoed by Tomas R Einarsson, a veteran jazz musician whose past two albums were recorded in Cuba.
"Icelandic musicians have a much wider perspective, my guitarist started out in a punk band, is now in my band and also plays classical guitar. This is not atypical," he says.
There can be no doubt that Iceland's unique creative force remains intact. Moreover, new technology, more experience within the industry and increased backing from government and private investors, will inevitably give rise to more international success.
Nevertheless, the economic boom which has helped attract this financial backing might yet prove a double-edged sword. While Reykjavik will have a dedicated music and conference hall by 2009, one venue used during Airwaves is expected to be knocked down after being acquired by developers. Two more, Gaukurinn and Nasa, are under threat of closure, the former due to a rent hike and the latter because a hotel is being planned on the site. Both are regarded as the bedrock of the festival and the local scene, and have hosted many seminal gigs.
The loss would be a blow to Airwaves, which would be faced with the choice of moving gigs to the outskirts of Reykjavik, or reducing the number of tickets to ensure there are no queues.
It would be a cruel irony if the music event which has done so much to attract visitors to Reykjavik, is undermined in a bid to accommodate them.

Song of the 92. Week: Rúnar Júlíusson & Hjálmar "Blæbrigði Lífsins"

92. Song of the Week: Rúnar Júlíusson og Hjálmar performing "Blæbrigði Lífsins".
Rúnar Júlíusson was Iceland's foremost Rock & Roller, aka "Hr. Rokk". He died of a cardiac arrest 5. December 2008. As a tribute to him, this song he's performing together with Iceland's No. 1 reggae band Hjálmar, is the Song of the Week.
More about him @ www.runarjul.is
Label Geimsteinn @ http://geimsteinn.grapewire.net & www.myspace.com/geimsteinn

Album Covers shot in Iceland - Part 2: P.M. Dawn's "Of the heart, of the soul and of the cross: The Utopian Experience"

The Debut Album of P.M Dawn entitled "Of the heart, of the cross and of the cross: The Utopian Experience", released in 1991, had the glacial lake Jökulsárlón on the cover. A lot of movies used this place, 2 times for a James Bond movie (Die another day & A view to a kill), Tomb Raider, to name a few.
Jökulsárlón is the best known and the largest of a number of glacial lakes in Iceland. It is situated at the south end of the glacier Vatnajökull between Skaftafell National Park and Höfn. Appearing first only in 1934-1935, the lake grew from 7.9 km² in 1975 to at least 18 km² today because of heavy melting of the Icelandic glaciers. Approaching a depth of 200 m, Jökulsárlón is now probably the second deepest lake in Iceland.
Jökulsárlón is separated from the sea by only a short distance, and the combined action of the glacier, the river that empties from the lake, and the ocean may eventually transform it into an inlet of the sea. There are plans to prevent this from happening, since the only road in the area passes over the narrow isthmus.
It is not far from the Icelandic Ring Road, and buses travelling between Höfn and Reykjavík usually stop there. The lake is filled with icebergs, which are calving off the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier.

Album Covers shot in Iceland - Part 1: The Streets "Everything is borrowed"

Inspired by the Cover of Echo & The Bunnymen's "Porcupine" & the reaction of Alex of Clicks & Pops Blogspot, I was thinking about other Album Covers & Waterfalls. Of course there are more bands with Covers shot in Iceland, but most of them were Albums recorded Live in Iceland or in an Icelandic studio.
The Streets released an Album this year called "Everything in borrowed", with Iceland's Skógafoss, a waterfall in the South, on the Cover.
Skógafoss is one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls of the country with a width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters. Due to the amount of spray the waterfall consistently produces, a single or double rainbow is normally visible on sunny days. According to legend, the first Viking settler in the area, Þrasi Þórólfsson, buried a treasure in a cave behind the waterfall. A local boy found the chest years later, but was only able to grasp the ring on the side of the chest before it disappeared again.
At the eastern side of the waterfall, a hiking and trekking trail leads up to the pass Fimmvörðuháls between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. It goes down to Þórsmörk on the other side and continues as the famous Laugavegur to Landmannalaugar.

sunnudagur, desember 28, 2008

Videos shot in Iceland - Part 9: Echo & The Bunnymen "The Cutter

Echo and the Bunnymen
"The Cutter" Video featuring "Gullfoss" (The Golden Waterfall) in wintertime. First song on their Album "Porcupine", released 1983.
Wikipedia about this Album:
Deciding that he (Director Butt) wanted the videos to reflect the frigid feel of the music on the album. Butt chose to shoot the videos in Scotland. However, it was not certain that there would be enough snow in Scotland during November so Iceland was chosen as the location to shoot the videos.

Filming took place on and near the frozen Gullfoss waterfall near Reykjavik. Feeling it was a dangerous process, McCulloch said in 1993, "If we had slipped there wasn't anything for hundreds of feet below us." In 2001 Griffin said, "[...] the sun barely appeared the whole time we were there. To walk, stand up, or just think seemed a massive effort." Despite the danger the filming proved its worth when the British music magazine Q said in 2001, "The Porcupine cover is the epitome of rock band as heroic archetype – young men on some ill-defined but glorious mission, one easily as timeless as the stars and the sea." Describing the album cover, journalist Dave Rimmer wrote in British music magazine Smash Hits, "Iceland does seem an appropriate location for this group. It's isolated, cold, bleak and fits perfectly with the moody image they've attracted to themselves."

Mixing It - The Alternative Music Scene in Reykjavik (BBC, 11. November 2001)

The BBC Radio 3 World music show Mixing It traveled to Iceland in October 2001 to explore the island's alternative music scene. Interviews with a dozen musicians from Iceland, who offer insight into why it seems that just about everybody is musically inclined.
Special feature on the music scene in the city of Reykjavik
Presented by Robert Sandall & Mark Russell
Produced by Philip Tagney
Factsheet compiled by Sam Hickling

Sunday 11. November 2001

Listen to this Program @ http://mixingit.hubmed.org/shows/2001/11/11
Download @

Here's the background information
Kukl Untitled
Kukl were a kind of pre-cursor to the Sugarcubes. Brought together by two radio programmers, they featured both Björk and Einar on vocals: Gud Krist (electric strings); Birgir (bass); Melaz (keyboards); Björk (vocals); Sigtryggur (drums); Einar Örn (vocals/trumpet)
album: Holidays In Europe/The Naughty Nought
Crass Records cat.no.4.cd

Voices: Ilo; Hilmar Örn, Einar Örn, Magga Stina

Interview: Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson
Hillmar Örn Hilmarsson was for a while a member of Psychic TV before returning to Iceland where he now composes film music.
Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and Sigur Rós: Journey to the Underworld
Taken from the soundtrack to the film Angels of the Universe by Icelandic director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson
album: Angels of the Universe
FatCat Records FATOST-CD01

Kukl: Untitled
album: Holidays In Europe/The Naughty Nought
Crass Records cat.no.4.cd

Interview: Einar Örn Benediktsson
Einar began by playing in the band Purrkur Pillnikk, before joining the anarcho-punk group Kukl. He formed the Sugarcubes in the mid 80’s. Since the Sugarcubes split up, Einar has worked with Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and, most recently, he worked on the score to the film 101 Reykjavik with Damon Albarn.

Kukl: Untitled
album: Holidays In Europe/The Naughty Nought
Crass Records cat.no.4.cd

Interview: Magga Stina
Magga Stina used to be in the band Reptile with whom she sang and played violin, before embarking on a solo career, and playing with other bands, such as the funk outfit Funkstrasse and the metal/disco/balkan/bossanova crossover band Bikarmeistararnir.
Magga Stina: Agent Bíbí
Magga Stina (vocals and lead violin); Hildur Jónsdóttir, Ólöf Arnalds, Sara Kolka (strings); Pétur Hallgrímsson (guitars); Johann Johannsson, Graham Massey (keyboards/programming)
album: An Album
One Little Indian Tplp112CD

Interview: Kristin Björk Kristjansdottir
Kristin Björk is the driving force behind the Kitchen Motors collective and specialises in bringing together the many diverse musicians of Reykjavik to collaborate in a series of live concerts. She also has her own band known as Big Band Brutal.
Various: Helvitis Symphony no.1 for 13 Electric Guitars
The guitarists: Jonsi Birgisson (Sigur Rós), Hilmar Jensson, Pétur Hallgrímsson, Kristín Björk, Örvar Póreyjarson Smárason, Einar Kristján Einarsson, Paul Lydon, Helgi Hauksson, Heiða, Gunnar Óskarsson, Gyða Valtýsdóttir, Valtýr Thors, Hallvarður Ásgeirsson
album: Nart Nibbles
This is a compilation of early concerts in the Motorlab series, designed to encourage unusual collaborations between musicians from Reykjavik and beyond.
Kitchen Motors KM03

Interview: Johann Johannsson
Johann Johannsson is a member of the Apparat Organ Quartet: a five-piece (!) who use vintage keyboards and drum machines to create melodic pieces of music. In Reykjavik, Mixing It saw them perform a composition for four stylophones and drum machine.
Apparat Organ Quartet: Magneto
From the forthcoming Apparat Organ Quartet album, due for release by Thule Musik some time early next year.
Thule Musik
Thule Musik is distributed in the UK by Southern
Apparat Organ Quartet: Composition for four stylophones
Johann Johannsson, Hörður Bragason, Úlfur Eldjárn, Músíkvatur (stylophones); Arnar Geir Ómarsson (drum machine)
Recorded at the Westurport Motorlab concert, Reykjavik, Thursday 4/10/01

Interview: Hilmar Jensson
Hilmar Jensson is an experimental guitarist working in Reykjavik, who has also worked extensively in the USA.
Hilmar Jensson and Skúli Sverrisson: Kjár
Skúli Sverrisson
is an Icelandic bass player who has lived in New York for the last decade and now works with Laurie Anderson
album: Kjár
Smekkleysa SMJ 1 CD

Interview: Auxpan
Auxpan, aka Elvar Mar Kjartans is a young experimental musician who builds his own instruments. Although he is yet to release any records, he has gained much respect in Reykjavik for his experimentation.
Auxpan: Símí
Taken from a home-recorded CD-R, this track features the manipulated sounds of telephones and tape recorders
Auxpan: Í gaer
Taken from a home-recorded CD-R

Interview: Biogen
Biogen, aka Sigurbjörn Thorgrimsson, has been making electronic music since the 80’s, as well as remixing the likes of Sigur Rós, mum and Minus. He was also half of the duo Ajax, who were championed by Goldie in the 90’s.
Biogen: Rök
This piece features the cut-up voice of the composer reciting medieval Icelandic poetry
album: You Are Strange
Demo recording, awaiting release, possibly by Thule Musik

Interview: Thorhallur Skulason (Thor) of Thule Musik
Thor is the director of the Reykjavik-based record label Thule Musik. The label is the home to such artists as mum, Trabant and Ilo. Thule Musik also has Iceland’s second biggest recording studio where Björk recorded some of her Vespertine album.
Björk: Hidden Place
album: Vespertine
One Little Indian TPLP101CD
Ilo: Tif
Composer and producer Ilo is one of Thule Musik’s recording artists. His real name is Ólafur Breiðfjörd.
album: Ilo
Uniform (Thule Musik) uni11cd
Thule Musik is distributed in the UK by Southern

Interview: Ilo
Ilo: Tif
Interview: Storme Whitby-Grubb
Storme Whitby-Grubb from England is one of the organisers of the Iceland Airwaves Festival, which has been running in Reykjavik since 1999. The first was held in an aircraft hangar and led to FatCat records signing Sigur Rós.
Iceland Airwaves is organised by Mr Destiny, PO Box 326, 121 Reykjavik, Iceland, visit www.icelandairwaves.com
This year’s festival took place between October 17th and 21st
Sigur Rós: Svefn-G-Englar
Recorded in Reykjavik with Ken Thomas
album: Agaetis Byrjun
FatCat FATCD11

Curver: Djassverkefnid
A live jazz performance made with turntables
Private recording, not commercially available
Curver’s website is at www.bibbi.is
Interview: Birgir Örn Thoroddsen aka Bibbi aka Curver
Bibbi has been active in the Reykjavik scene for many years and is one of its most well-connected members. He records his solo work under the alias Curver, and is also in the surf band Brim and the punk band Kúkur. He also works as a producer and remixer, one of his most recent production credits being with the hardcore band Mínus.
Mínus: Modern Haircuts
Mínus are Bjarni (guitar); Bjössi (drums); ívar (bass); Frosti (guitar); Krummi (vocals). They are Iceland’s premier hardcore band. Their album was produced in guitarist Frosti’s bedroom by Curver, then mixed in Thule Studio by Ken Thomas.
album: Jesus Christ Bobby
Smekkleysa SM 88 CD

Interview: Frosti & Bjössi from Mínus
The Mínus website is at www.dordingull.com
Mínus: Leisure
album: Jesus Christ Bobby
Smekkleysa SM 88 CD
Mínus: Pulse
album: Jesus Christ Bobby
Smekkleysa SM 88 CD

laugardagur, desember 27, 2008

Top 10 of Icelandic Albums of 2008 according to I love Icelandic music

When putting all the other lists on this blog, it's time to publish my TOP 10 of Icelandic Albums of 2008:
1. FM Belfast - "How to Make Friends"

2. Bang Gang - "Ghosts from the past"
3. Emiliana Torrini - "Me and Armini"
4. Vicky - "Pull Hard"
5. Dísa - "Dísa"
6. Morðingjarnir - "Áfram Ísland"
7. Motion Boys - "Hang On"
8. Retro Stefson - "Montaña"
9. Reykjavík! - "The Blood"
10. Ghostigital, Finnbogi Pétursson & Skúli Sverisson – "Aero"
10. Ólafur Arnalds - "Variations of Static"

Björk, Icelandic Singer and…Venture Capitalist?

Article about Business Björk in The New York Times
23. December 2008
By Claire Cain Miller
Björk — the pixie-faced Icelandic singer famous for her eclectic music, provocative music videos and outlandish fashion sense (even if you don’t know her music, you likely know her swan dress at the 2001 Oscars) — is adding “venture capitalist” to her resume.
Audur Capital, a venture capital firm in Reykjavik, Iceland, has started its second fund, named Björk, with 100 million Icelandic kronur (about $816,330) from Björk and the firm. They are raising more money now, with the goal of closing the fund in March.
The Björk fund will invest in early-stage businesses concentrating on green technology, with the goal of helping spur a recovery of Iceland’s economy, which was devastated by a financial crisis this fall.
“Björk invests in companies that create value through the uniqueness of Iceland’s nature and culture,” according to Audur’s Web site.
“The fund will invest in sustainable businesses that create value through leveraging Iceland’s unique resources, spectacular nature, vibrant culture and green energy,” the site said.
Björk has sung about politics, feminism and environmentalism. She has stirred controversy by dedicating the song “Declare Independence” to the people of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Kosovo and Tibet.
She has lately used her music — and her money — to address climate change and Iceland’s economic crisis. She released a new song, “Nattura,” on iTunes on the end of October. It is a call to action to the government, businesses and citizens of Iceland to use the country’s natural resources responsibly. She said she will use the song’s proceeds to support green businesses in Iceland, as she is doing with the venture capital fund.
“If the money for the next aluminum smelters would go into supporting these businesses, we would be in a much better position in Iceland in five years’ time, both economically and also just image-wise or dignity-wise,” she said in a video interview with The Associated Press.
“I will not be able to live with my own conscience when my grandchildren drive around Iceland and it’s just full of factories and smelters,” she said.
Audur closed its first fund, Audur I, in March 2008. Unlike the Björk fund, the $42 million fund invests in three- to five-year-old companies that are profitable but in need of additional capital to grow. It concentrates on companies run by women or whose main customers are women.
The firm was founded by Halla Tomasdottir, former managing director of the Iceland Chamber of Commerce, and Kristin Petursdottir, former deputy chief executive of the London investment bank Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander. They wanted to start a business with more than just economic profit as a goal, and say that they offer their portfolio companies not just financial and knowledge capital, but also “emotional capital.”
The newest investor in the firm, Björk, “has become a spokeswoman for innovation, creative thinking and increased diversity in the Icelandic economy,” they said on their site.

Fréttablaðið's Top 10 of Best Icelandic Albums of 2008 (Bestu íslensku plötur ársins)

The band Sigur Rós made the Icelandic Album of the Year "Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust", according to the specialists contacted by Fréttablaðið Newspaper.
It's for the 4. time that S. R. is Nr. 1. since the start in DV in 1998.
TOP 10 of 2008
1. SIGUR RÓS 50 Points "Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust"
2. FM BELFAST 37 Points "How To Make Friends"
3. DR. SPOCK 16 Points "Falcon Christ"
4. LAY LOW 14 Points "Farewell Good Night‘s sleep"
5. MAMMÚT 12 Points "Karkari"
6. SIN FANG BOUS 10 Points "Clangour"
7. EMILIANA TORRINI 9 Points "Me and Armini"
8. RETRO STEFSON 8 Points "Montaña"
9-10. CELESTINE 8 Points 'At The Borders Of Arcadia"
9-10. REYKJAVÍK! 8 Points "The Blood"

For Georg Holm, bass player of Sigur Rós, FM Belfast made the album of the year.
Hún er algjör snilld. Hún er að mínu mati skemmtilegasta platan sem kom út á árinu. Ég hefði gefið henni atkvæði.
Best foreign Album is for him: "Made in the Dark" of Hot Chip.
Winners of the Past years
2007: Mugison – "Mugiboogie"
2006: Reykjavík! – "Glacial Landscapes, Religion, Oppression & Alcohol"
2005: Sigur Rós – "Takk …"
2004: Mugison – "Mugimama" (is this Monkey Music?)
2003: Mínus – "Halldór Laxness"
2002: Sigur Rós – "()"
2001: XXX Rottweilerhundar – "XXX Rottweilerhundar"
2000: Botnleðja – "Douglas Dakota"
1999: Sigur Rós – "Ágætis byrjun"
1998: Botnleðja – "Magnyl"
The Music Specialists
Anna Margrét Björnsson of FRÉTTABLAÐIÐ
1. Evil Madness – Demoni Paradiso
2. Sin Fang Bous – Clangour
3. Skakkamanage – All Over The Face
4. Bang Gang – Ghosts From The Past
5. FM Belfast – How To Make Friends
Árni Þór Jónsson of ZÝRÐUR RJÓMI
1. FM Belfast – How To Make Friends
2. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum …
3. Bang Gang – Ghosts From The Past
4. Bob Justman – Happiness And Woe
5. Bragi Valdimar og Memfismafían – Gilligill
1. Lay Low – Farewell Good Night’s Sleep
2. FM Belfast – How To Make Friends
3. Bragi Valdimar og Memfismafían – Gilligill
4. Steed Lord – Truth Serum
5. Retro Stefson – Montaña
1. FM Belfast – How To Make Friends
2. Lay Low – Farewell Good Night’s Sleep
3. Motion Boys – Hang On
4. Dr. Spock – Falcon Christ
5. Morðingjarnir – Áfram Ísland!
Egill Harðarson of EGILLHARDAR.COM
1. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum …
2. Benni Hemm Hemm – Murta St. Calunga
3. FM Belfast – How To Make Friends
4. Megas & Senuþjófarnir – Á morgun
5. Emiliana Torrini – Me And Armini
Freyr Bjarnason of FRÉTTABLAÐIÐ
1. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum …
2. FM Belfast – How To Make Friends
3. Retro Stefson – Montaña
4. Lay Low – Farewell Good Night’s Sleep
5. Múgsefjun – Skiptar skoðanir
Frosti Logason of XIÐ 977
1. Celestine – At The Borders Of Arcadia
2. Dr. Spock – Falcon Christ
3. Mammút – Karkari
4. The Viking Giant Show – The Lost Garden of the Hooligans
5. FM Belfast – How To Make friends
Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir of RÁS 1/HLAUPANÓTAN
1. Hugi Guðmundsson – Apocrypha
2. Ísafold – All Sounds To Silence Come
3. Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands – D’Indy
4. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum …
5. Klive – Klive
Hildur Maral Hamíðsdóttir of RJÓMINN
1. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum …
2. Mammút – Karkari
3. Agent Fresco – Lightbulb Universe
4. Sin Fang Bous – Clangour
5. We Made God – As We Sleep
Höskuldur Daði Magnússon of FRÉTTABLAÐIÐ
1. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum …
2. Jeff Who? – Jeff Who?
3. FM Belfast – How To Make Friends
4. The Viking Giant Show – The Lost Garden Of The Hooligans
5. Múgsefjun – Skiptar skoðanir
Jens Kr. Guð
1. Dr. Spock – Falcon Christ
2. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum …
3. Reykjavík! – The Blood
4. Morðingjarnir – Áfram Ísland
5. Herbert Guðmundsson – Spegill sálarinnar/Open Your Eyes
Kjartan Guðmundsson of FRÉTTABLAÐIÐ
1. Dísa – Dísa
2. KK – Svona eru menn
3. FM Belfast – How To Make friends
4. Bob Justman – Happiness And Woe
5. Jeff Who? – Jeff Who?
Klemens Ó. Þrastarson of FRÉTTABLAÐIÐ
1. Pikknikk – Galdur
2. Megas & Senuþjófarnir – Á morgun
3. Sigurður Guðmundsson og Memfismafían – Oft spurði ég mömmu
4. Dr. Gunni – Að gefnu tilefni
5. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum …
Ólafur Páll Gunnarsson of RÁS 2
1. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum …
2. Bubbi – Fjórir naglar
3. Emiliana Torrini – Me And Armini
4. Dr. Spock – Falcon Christ
5. Mammút – Karkari
Ragnhildur Magnúsdóttir of BYLGJAN
1. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum …
2. Emilíana Torrini – Me And Armini
3. Lay Low – Farewell Good Night’s Sleep
4. Bang Gang – Ghosts From The Past
5. Motion Boys – Hang On
Steinþór Helgi Arnsteinsson of FRÉTTABLAÐIÐ
1. Reykjavík! – The Blood
2. Sin Fang Bous – Clangour
3. FM Belfast – How To Make Friends
4. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum …
5. Borko – Celebrating Life
Sveinn Birkir Björnsson of GRAPEVINE
1. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum …
2. Mammút – Karkari
3. Celestine – At The Borders Of Arcadia
4. Morðingjarnir – Áfram Ísland
5. Emiliana Torrini – Me And Armini
Trausti Júlíusson of FRÉTTABLAÐIÐ
1. FM Belfast – How To Make Friends
2. Retro Stefson – Montaña
3. Dr. Spock – Falcon Christ
4. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum …
5. Bubbi – Fjórir naglar

föstudagur, desember 26, 2008

Jólaball with Sprengjuhöllin, FM Belfast, Retro Stefson & Hjaltalín @ NASA 26. December @ 00:00

Jólaball with Sprengjuhöllin, FM Belfast, Retro Stefson & Hjaltalín @ NASA
Doors Open: 00:00.
Sprengjuhöllin on stage @ 00:30.
Hjaltalín @ 1:10.
Retro Stefson @1:50
FM Belfast @ 2:30.
1000 IKR for Viðskiptavini Nova (Clients of Nova)
1500 IKR @ Midi www.midi.is or Skifan
1800 IKR @ Door

fimmtudagur, desember 25, 2008

Review of "Rafmögnuð Reykjavík - Electronica Reykjavik" Music Documentary

I"ve seen this documentary on my last full day in Iceland this year together with Ellen, Heida & Alexandra. It was for free for the people with an Airwaves Pass.
Rafmögnuð Reykjavík - Electronica Reykjavik
Review @ Hair Entertainment by Valur Gunnarsson

Director: Arnar Jónasson - 2008 (55 min)
The Golden Years
The film Rock in Reykjavik is without a doubt the most legendary film in Icelandic rock history. Documenting the unique Icelandic punk scene in the early 80‘s, it played a part in launching the career of both Björk and the other members of the Sugarcubes, as well as Oscar nominated director Friðrik Þór Friðriksson.
Many attempts have been made to emulate it, such as the 1996 film Pop in Reykjavik, and the more Recent Screaming Masterpiece. None, however, have come close. That is, until this year‘s Reykjavik Electronica. The film in many ways resembles its punk predecessor, although the focus here is on the rave scene of the early 90‘s. And while Rokk i Reykjavik was very much caught up in the moment, Electronica takes a wider historical perspective, drawing on a decade and a half of material.
The Icelandic punk scene reached its zenith around five years after its predecessor in London, but by the early 90‘s the scene in Iceland seemed to be never more than five weeks behind its sources of inspiration. The world had grown so much smaller in course of a decade that Reykjavik could lay claim to being the party capital of Europe. Björk‘s success had a lot to do with this, but the underground electronic musicians of Reykjavik also played their part. And just like the punks ten years earlier, they were hellbent on recreating the world in their own image.
In the early 90’s, while grungers and Britpoppers did their best to emulate their 60‘s and 70‘s heroes, the electronica scene seemed to be creating something entirely new. And just like in the late 60‘s, when every month seemed to bring out a new subgenre such as Acid Rock, Folk Rock, Country Rock, one now had a hard time keeping up with the even the names of various styles; Techno, Drum’n’Bass, Jungle. Much like Rock, however, electronic music went through a revolutionary phase and then seems to have largely stagnated. Most of its early practitioners are now reaching middle age. If the 90‘s were the 60‘s for electronic music, we are now in the late 70‘s, and it is perhaps time for electronica to be entering its punk phase and reinvent itself. Or perhaps it has played that card already, since it was always in some ways inspired by punk to begin with. In any case, the film Electronica Reykjavik is a valuable document of a time when it really did seem possible that Reykjavik would take its place among the capitals of the world. Now we know better.

More information @ Zik Zak site:

Electronica Reykjavik is the story of a revolution in music. The electronic and house music of the late 80´s and early 90´s has made and affected a whole generation of musicians. A scene of mostly underground and avant-garde Icelandic electronic artists emerged, many of which are portrayed in the film. Be prepared for the deepest rhythms of nature and above all a very sexy party.
Featuring highly rare footage from the early days of Dance music as well as artists such as Anonymous, Biogen, Gus Gus, Ghostigital and many more.
Original title: Rafmögnuð Reykjavík
Director/Scriptwriter: Arnar Jónasson
Editor: Kristján Loðmfjörð
Sound design : Björn Viktorsson, Steingrímur Eyfjörð & Bogi Reynisson
Original language: Icelandic (English version)
Type of film: Music Documentary
Domestic release: 27. September 2008 @ RIFF
Executive Producers: Skúli Fr. Malmquist & Þórir Snær Sigurjónsson
Producers: Grímar Jónsson & Arnar Jónasson
Co-producer: Hlín Jóhannesdóttir
Production company: Zik Zak Filmworks
Format: Beta SP, DVD
Running time: 50 min
Sound: Dolby 5.1 or Stereo
World Sales: Zik Zak Filmworks
Territories sold: Iceland
Artists: Gus Gus, DJ Grétar - Grétar Gunnarsson, DJ Frímann – Frímann Andrésson, Thor - Þórhallur Skúlason, Biggi Veira - Birgir Þórarinsson, DJ Maggi Legó - Magnús Guðmundsson, Anonymous - Marlon Pollock og Tanya Pollock, DJ Agzilla - Agnar Agnarsson, Biogen - Sigurbjörn Þorgrímsson, Hermigervill - Sveinbjörn Thorarensen, Frank Murder - Þorgeir Frímann Óðinsson, Earth - Urður Hákonardóttir, Curver Thoroddsen, Einar Örn Benediktsson, President Bongo - Stephan Stephensen…

miðvikudagur, desember 24, 2008

"Aurora" CD on Japanese Rambling Records

CD with Various Artists of Icelandic 12 Tonar Label
1. Blástjarnan þótt skarti skær / Ragnheiður Gröndal
2. Track 03 / Beta
3. Om jag vågar / Eivør Pálsdóttir
4. One Night of Swords / Skuli Sverrisson
5. Track 01 / Beta
6. Tigerman / Hudson Wayne
7. Pianóleikarinn / Ingibjörg Fiorbergs
8. Track 09 / Beta
9. Må solen alltid skina / Eivør Pálsdóttir
10. Allt eins og blómstrið eina / Ragnheiður Gröndal
11. Spontaneous Kindness / Skuli Sverrisson
12. Track 07 / Beta
13. Morning Light / Pétur Ben
14. Growth / Lost In Hildurness
15. Seria / Skuli Sverrisson
Order it @ www.rambling.ne.jp/html/catalogue/detail.php?tm=1&id=RBCS-2292
Label @ www.12tonar.is

Retro Stefson "Medallion" Video

Retro Stefson
"Medallion", a song of their debut album, "Montaña" (Kimi Records, 2008).
The video is directed by Árni Sveinsson and produced by Rafskinna.
The video will be featured on the next Rafskinna DVD magazine.


Jólagrautur @ NASA 27. December

Jólagrautur @ NASA 27. December
www.gogoyoko.com together Hjálmar & Mugison, organize a concert @ NASA venue (Austurvöllur), Saturday 27. December.
On the Program: Mugison, Hjálmar together with Timbuktu, Egill Sæbjörnsson, Motion Boys & Borko.
Tickets @ Skífan or Midi @ www.midi.is.
Price: 1.500 IKR.
Doors: 23:00

Merry Christmas

Calendar Björk @ Nordic House, Reykjavík 23. December - Review by Manny Santiago

Photograph was published in Morgunblaðið Newspaper.

Review by Manny Santiago of Björk's performance @ Christmas Calendar Event @ Norræna Húsið/Nordic House, Reykjavík :
She did a set of about 20 minutes and played 4 Icelandic Christmas songs. A short introduction was made by a member of the Nordic House's staff and they asked that no one take pictures. Björk, wearing a red dress, pink leggings, and brown boots with long black hair came out with Jónas on piano and started with a very short song called "Það Á Að Gefa Börnum Brauð.." a song by Kolbeinn Þorsteinsson written in 1760. She then performed an incredibly beautiful version of "Gilsbakkaþula". It's an extremely long song, made longer by the fact that each line of the song (of which there are LOTS of lines) was repeated at least twice. Before beginning, though, she had 3 Christmas toys out with her and some sheets of paper. As this was a long song, she wanted to get some audience participation. When she held up one toy, she wanted only the women to sing along, when she held another toy up the men would sing, and when she held the small sleigh up, only the kids could sing. Then on the papers, she had written down a month of the year on each and only those born in said month could sing. It was quite cute and people did indeed sing along. The song finished to a great applause and Björk gave the toys to three cute children sitting in front of her. She then sang a more well known Icelandic Christmas song called "Jólasveinar Ganga Um Gólf". Again, people sang along and it was quite a quick song.. sang very well, though. She finished with a normal length song called "Jólasveinavísur", a song about all 13 of the Icelandic Santa Clauses (Yule Lads) with a description of each. She finished to a nice applause, a big smile, and that was it.
Thank You Jenifer Edgar!
A sneaky photo by Hörður.

þriðjudagur, desember 23, 2008

IMXmasGiveAway: Free Icelandic Music Goodies @ IMX

Iceland Music Export (IMX), Sena, Smekkleysa, 12 Tónar, Kimi and Cod Music Labels give the year's best albums, DVDs, T-shirts away.
The Goodies are:
DVDs from Sigur Rós - "Heima"
Tee shirts from The Sugarcubes
Albums by:
Sigur Rós - "Inní mér syngur Vitleysingur"
Jeff Who? - "Jeff Who?"
Reykjavik! - "The Blood
For A Minor Reflection - "Reistu þig við, sólin er komin á loft"
Dísa - "Dísa"
Lay Low - "Farewell Good Night's Sleep"
Hugi Gudmundsson "Apocrypha"
Bang Gang - "Ghosts From The Past"
Steini - "Human Comfort"
Retro Stefson - "Montaña"
Benni Hemm Hemm - "Murta St. Calunga"
Skakkamanage - "All over the Face"
Pikknikk - "Galdur"
Sin Fang Bous - "Clangour"
FM Belfast - "How to make friends"
Agent Fresco - "Lightbulb Universe"
Shogun - "Charm City"
Morðingjarnir - "Áfram Ísland!"
Borko - "Celebrating Life"
The Viking Giant Show - "The Giant Viking Show"
Doctor Spock - "Falcon Christ"
Villi Valli - "Í tímans rás"
Emiliana Torrini - "Me & Armini"
Go to the IMX Website @ www.icelandmusic.is
or got directly to the form @ www.icelandmusic.is/IMXmasgiveaway/
let them know which items you want & why, send it "Submit".

Best Icelandic Albums of 2008 according to Dr. Gunni - Vote @ Website of Morgunblaðið

Dr. Gunni's List for 2008:
1. FM Belfast - "How to Make Friends"

2. Lay Low - "Farewell Good Night’s Sleep"
3. Motion Boys - "Hang On"
4. Dr. Spock - "Falcon Christ"
5. Morðingjarnir - "Áfram Ísland!"
6. Reykjavík! – "The blood"
7. Buff - "Buff"
8. Retro Stefson - "Montaña"
9. Baggalútur - "Nýjasta nýtt"
10. Singapore Sling - "Perversity, Desperation and Death"
Make your vote @ Morgunblaðið Website @
You can choose 5 Albums out of this list:
Agent Fresco - "Lightbulb Universe"
Baggalútur - "Nýjasta nýtt"
Benni Hemm Hemm - M"urta St. Calunga"
Bragi Valdimar Skúlason - "Gilligill"
Bubbi Morthens - "Fjórir naglar"
Diddú og Terem - "Diddú og Terem"
Dísa - "Dísa"
Dr. Spock - "Falcon Christ"
Emiliana Torrini - "Me and Armini"
FM Belfast - "How to Make Friends"
Hinn íslenski þursaflokkur og Caput - "Í höllinni á Þorra 2008"
Hugi Guðmundsson -" Apocrypha"
Introbeats - T"ívólí chillout"
Jeff Who? - J"eff Who?"
Jóhann Jóhannsson -" Fordlândia"
KK - "Svona eru menn"
Klive - "Sweaty Psalms"
Lay Low - "Farewell Good Night's Sleep"
Mammút - "Karkari"
Megas - "Á morgun"
Morðingjarnir - "Áfram Ísland"
Motion Boys - "Hang On"
Ólafur Arnalds - "Variations of Static"
Páll Óskar - "Silfursafnið"
Ragnheiður Gröndal - "Bella & Her Black Coffee"
Retro Stefson - "Montaña"
Reykjavík! - "The Blood"
Sálin hans Jóns Míns - "Hér er draumurinn"
Sigurður Guðmundsson - "Oft spurði ég mömmu"
Sigur Rós - "Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust"

Or even another artist/album is possible (put names in the boxes on the right).
Video of FM Belfast @ NASA @ Iceland Airwaves '08 by Abbey Braden.

Retro Stefson News: Album Cover & Two Concerts 26. & 28. December

Retro Stefson is getting a New Cover for their Debut Album "Montaña".
Albums with grey cover are sold out.
New Cover of the Album

is a photograph of the band taken by Þorleifur Örn Gunnarsson this summer.
In Fréttabladid Newspaper the original cover was called one of the most ugly album covers of the year 2008 recently.
Retro Stefson is playing 2 concerts this year:
one @ NASA together with Sprengjuhöllin, Hjaltalín & FM Belfast 26. December;

a second one Jólarokk @ The Icelandic Opera together with For a Minor Reflection, XXX Rottweilerhundar, Ólafur Arnalds & Ultra Mega Technóbandid Stefán 28. December.

Retro Stefson @ www.myspace.com/retrostefsonmusic
Label: http://www.kimirecords.net/

mánudagur, desember 22, 2008

Sprengjuhöllin "Verum í Sambandi" live @ TV

"Verum í Sambandi"


Björk: One Day (Later) @ Nordic House, Reykjavík

Björk's Performance @ Norræna Húsið, Reykjavík is moved to 23. December @ 12:34.
It will be a small, intimate, Christmas calendar performance; about 15-20 minutes long.

91. Song of the Week: Múgsefjun's "Dag eftir dag"

Song of the 91. Week is "Dag eftir dag" by Múgsefjun. A song featured on their Album called "Skiptar skoðanir".

On their MySpace www.myspace.com/mugsefjun:
The music of Múgsefjun is somewhat difficult to sum up. It’s a melting pot of different genres and styles ranging from alternative country and folk to progressive rock. Those that have tried describing Múgsefjun’s music to others are usually reduced to naming other bands and musicians which kinda sound like Múgsefjun... and that’s a list that has a tendency to grow rather long.
The lineup of the band is rather unorthodox, featuring an accordion player in tandem with the more familiar combination of drums, bass and guitars. Add intricate vocal harmonies to this peculiar lineup and you’ve got a very distinct sound.
Múgsefjun was originally formed in 2004 by Hjalti Þorkelson and Björn Heiðar Jónsson, two best friends since early childhood. The name of the band (meaning "Crowd Mentality") came from a term often used by a teacher at their music school for describing cheap tricks to please the common undemanding listener. They undoubtedly adopted the name with a hint of irony because even though they write clever lyrics and catchy melodies, they often bury them in complex arrangements and odd time signatures.
Hjalti and Björn were soon joined by Björn’s close relative Sveinn Ingi Reynisson on the accordion and as far as they were concerned, the band was complete with Hjalti and Björn playing acoustic guitars and Hjalti singing lead vocals.
In the year 2005 they decided to change things around and add a bass player and a drummer to the band. Brynjar Páll Björnsson was drafted to play the bass. Finding a permanent drummer however proved elusive. After searching for a couple of months without any results, Björn Heiðar decided to take on the drumming duties until a replacement was found in Þorsteinn Már Jónsson. Þorsteinn then quit in the beginning of 2007 and was replaced by their current drummer, Eiríkur Fannar Torfason.
Live Reviews:
"The pace slows and musical horizons are expanded with the arrival of Múgsefjun. Their inverted alt-rock with an accordion twist is truly enchanting. Each chorus is an eruption of emotion, little pockets of brilliance evidenced by their counter-intuitive playing and a willingness to merge styles with impunity."
Francis Jones, BBC
"Múgsefjun was an instantly lovable crew, with their whirring melodies punctuated with accordion (and the occasional, forgivable flute solo). Hjalti Þorkelson is a gifted and impassioned vocalist, his timeless voice boosted by the complex textures of electric guitar and drummer Eiríkur Fannar Torfason."
Katie Hasty, The Reykjavík Grapevine, Airwaves 2007, Issue 1
Múgsefjun on Icelandic TV Program Kastljós
"Kalin slóð"

sunnudagur, desember 21, 2008

Maximus Musicus Visits the Orchestra - CD + Book

The Icelandic Mickey Mouse goes to the Orchestra:

Maximus Musicus Visits the Orchestra” is an introduction to the symphony orchestra, its instruments, sounds and musicians for children up to the age of 9.
It is an illustrated book with an accompanying CD, as well as a concert program performed already to great acclaim by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra (ISO) in March 2008.
Vladimir Ashkenazy, Conductor Laureate of the ISO is patron of the project and has been instrumental in bringing this project about.

The story and the music open up the world of music for children as we follow the tale of the mouse, Maximus Musicus. He finds himself by chance in a concert hall and experiences many strange and funny things as well as some wonderful and almost overwhelming sounds as the orchestra rehearses and gives a concert. He enjoys himself so much that he decides to stay in the concert hall and see what happens the next day.

The CD contains a narration of the story with all the sounds and music that go with it, the musicians warming up, tuning, rehearsing and finally playing the pieces. At the end of the CD, the works are performed in their entirely by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra conducted by their principal conductor, Rumon Gamba.
The author, Hallfríður Ólafsdóttir is principal flautist of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, mother of two young children and an experienced music teacher.
Illustrator Þórarinn Már Baldursson is a violist in the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
This project is supported by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, The Icelandic State Radio, the Ministry of Education, the Icelandic Musicians’ Union and the Player’s Committee of the ISO. The book was published by Forlagið Publishing Company in March 2008 and in conjunction, the ISO gave a series of concerts for playschools and a family concert 26th to 29th of March 2008.

The program
The pieces that are played in the story of Maximus Musicus were carefully chosen to suit the young audience.
Ravel’s “Bolero” is easy to listen to, with the repeated melody revealing very interesting and contrasting colours. It is a continuous build up of sound, with the brilliant orchestration by Ravel showing both the colours of individual and different combinations of instruments. The narration describes the piece as it goes along, both the mood of the music and the instruments that are playing.
Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” is short but very effective, and is a good representation of the brass instruments. This fanfare can easily be exchanged for another one should the artistic director of an orchestra find another more fitting.
The beginning of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is included for good measure as well as humour, and is played while the mouse goes on a hunt for something edible backstage. For playschool concerts a 40 second version is played, for a family concert the whole of the first movement is played, without repeat.
The encore is one of the most popular Icelandic songs, “A Sprengisandi” by Sigvaldi Kaldalóns. Often sung by Icelandic children and others of all ages, it is the most popular encore of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, a galloping “tour de force” arranged colourfully by a former player and conductor of the ISO, Páll Pampichler Pálsson.

"Maxi’s Song" was written by the author, Hallfríður Ólafsdóttir. It is already very popular with young children at playschool, who have thoroughly enjoyed singing along with the full orchestra. The playschools prepared for the event by downloading the tune, music and text from the ISO’s website www.sinfonia.is/Maxi.

An English translation of the story is available.
For further information contact: The Iceland Music Information Centre itm@mic.is
Telephone: (+354)-5683122
Fax: (+354)-5683124
Address: Síðumúli 34, 108 Reykjavík, Iceland
Publisher: Forlagið @ http://www.forlagid.is/

Megas on stage @ Söngskemmtun (1984): "Bráðum kemur betri tíð"

A while ago there was no so much material by Megas, Iceland's Bob Dylan, on YouTube. I found this today: Megas @ Söngskemmtun back in 1984.
"Bráðum kemur betri tíð" (Better times soon arrive)
Lyrics by Iceland's only Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness. This poem is about summertime and it's promise of better times.
Bráðum kemur betri tíð með blóm í haga
sæta lánga sumardaga.
Þá er gaman að trítla um tún og tölta á eingi
einkum fyrir únga dreingi.
Folöldin þá fara á sprett og fuglinn sýngur,
og kýrnar leika við kvurn sinn fíngur.
Better times soon arrive with flowers in bloom
sweet long days of summer.
Then it is fun to tread fields lightly and walk through meadow
especially for the young.
The foals will then gallop and the bird sings,
and the cows are in their highest spirits.

Translation of the poem found @ www.icelandchicago.org/2001_05_01_archive.html

laugardagur, desember 20, 2008

More Mugison @ ATP 2008

Mugison @ Nightmare before X-mas


"I want you"


Björk goes Metal: The Carcass Remix of "Isobel"

Björk's song additional Produced & Remixed by Carcass. This version of the song "Isobel" is featured on the CD Single of "Hyperballad" (192TP7CDL - CD2; 1996). Mixed @ Parr Street Studieos

Icelandic Music Awards 2008 - The Nominations

Íslensku Tónlistarverðlaunin - Icelandic Music Awards
For the 15. time since 1993.
Sigur Rós is nominated 6 times: f. i. for Album of the Year, 2 times for Song of the Year "Gobbledigook" and "Inní mér syngur vitleysingur", singer Jón Þór Birgisson for Voice of the Year.

Tilnefningarnar ársins 2008 - The Nominations for the Year 2008
Höfundur ársins/Composer of the Year
Bragi Valdimar Skúlason – for writing the texts of "Gilligill og Nýjasta nýtt"
Sigur Rós – for writing the songs of "Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust"
Áskell Másson – for "Ora"
Emilíana Torrini – for writing the songs of "Me and Armini"
Jóhann Jóhannsson – for "Fordlandia"

Tónverk ársins/Composition of the Year
"Ora" – Áskell Másson
"Stjórnarskrá íslenska lýðveldisins" – Karólína Eiríksdóttir
"Sinfónía nr. 4" – John Speight

Lag ársins/Song of the Year
"Þú komst við hjartað í mér" – Toggi/Bjarki Jónsson/Páll Óskar
"Gobbledigook" – Sigur Rós
"Inní mér syngur vitleysingur" – Sigur Rós
"Kalin slóð" – Múgsefjun
"Pabbi minn er ríkari en pabbi þinn" – Bragi Valdimar Skúlason

Tónlistarflytjandi ársins/Concert of the Year
Anna Guðný Guðmundsdóttir – "Tuttugu tillit til Jesúbarnsins" by Olivier Messiaen
Björk – Concert @ Langholtskirkja & Náttúra Concert @ Laugardalur
Þursaflokkurinn & Caput – Laugardalshöll Concert
Sigur Rós – Concert @ Laugardalshöll & Náttúra Concert @ Laugardalur
Dr. Spock – All concerts this year

Rödd ársins/Voice of the Year
Emilíana Torrini
Páll Óskar Hjálmtýsson
Egill Ólafsson
Katrín Mogensen
Jón Þór Birgisson

Popp/rokkplata ársins/Pop/Rock Album of the Year
"Með suð í eyrum við syngjum endalaust" – Sigur Rós
"Me and Armini" – Emilíana Torrini
"Falcon Christ" – Dr. Spock
"Jeff Who?" – Jeff Who?
"Karkari" – Mammút
"Skiptar skoðanir" – Múgsefjun
"Fjórir naglar" – Bubbi Morthens

Sígild og samtímatónlist/Classic & Contemporary Music Album of the Year
"Apocrypha" – Hugi Guðmundsson
"Fordlandia" – Jóhann Jóhannsson
"Demoni Paradiso" – Evil Madness
" "– Mógil
"All sounds to silence come" – Kammersveitin Ísafold

Djass/Jazz Album of the Year
"Fram af" – Ómar Guðjónsson
"Í tímans rás" – Villi Valli
"Blátt ljós" – Sigurður Flosason

Bjartasta vonin/Brightest hope
Agent Fresco
Retro Stefson
FM Belfast

Myndband ársins/Video of the Year
Umslag ársins/Album Cover of the Year

föstudagur, desember 19, 2008

Sin Fang Bous "Clangour" Promo

Sin Fang Bous Debut Album "Clangour" Promo Video


Rafskinna & Kimi Records @ Vintage budin @ Laugavegur # 25 20. December 2008

Rafskinna & Kimi Records @ Christmas Event @ Vintage búðin @ 18:00
Retro Stefson plays live for the guests
"Montana" @ Tunglid @ Iceland Airwaves '08

3. Edition of DVD Magazine Rafskinna
Première of the Retro Stefson Video for the song "Medallion" made by Árni Sveins

A lot of gigs today @ Reykjavík 19. December

FM Belfast @ Vintage Iceland @ Laugavegur 25.
Reykjavík! @ Mál og Menning Shop @ Laugavegur
Pontiak Pilatus & Bob @ Kaffi Hljómalind @ Laugavegur
JANIS JOPLIN SHOW with Bryndís Ásmundsdóttir & Band @ Dillon Bar @ Laugavegur http://www.dillon.is/
Sykur & Alfons X @ Kaffibarinn
Retro Stefson, Sudden Weather Change & Carpet Show

Auður Capital and Björk establish the venture fund BJÖRK

Auður Capital and Björk establish the venture fund BJÖRK
Auður Capital and the musician Björk have joined forces to create the venture fund BJÖRK.
The fund is intended for investors seeking investment opportunities in new venture creation and the business development of small companies with the objective of fueling the recovery of the Icelandic economy.
The fund will invest in sustainable businesses that create value through leveraging Iceland’s unique resources, spectacular nature, vibrant culture and green energy.

miðvikudagur, desember 17, 2008

101 Reykjavik: Icelandic Music @ Cultuurhuis Maison, Maldegem, Belgium

After a year of a lot of Icelandic music in Belgium, the Icelanders keep on invading Belgian stages.
Cultuurhuis Maison @ Maldegem is organising a 101 Reykjavik Festival 17. January-29. March 2009.
17. January: Hjaltalín jaltalin & Dísa
1. February: Kira Kira
5. February: Sam Amidon (USA - based in Iceland)
8. February: Mógil
29. March: Rökkurró
Hjaltalín @ Tunglid venue @ Kimi Records Evening @ Iceland Airwaves '08 (October 2008)


Vocal line covers Björk @ Kyoto, Japan

Vocal Line

"Gilligill": Bragi Valdimar Skúlason og Memfismafían - The Videos

Bragi Valdimar Skúlason og Memfismafían
"Gilligill" (Sena Label, 2008)
An Album with 11 songs for kids. Song titles are: "Kallinn sem keyrir mig í skólann", "Laugardagsmorgun korter yfir sex", "Pabbi minn er ríkari en pabbi þinn" , "Hvað segja dýrin?", "Ævintýrið um Sipp".
The Singers are Sigríður Thorlacius of the band Hjaltalín, Magga Stína (of Reptile fame), Sigtryggur (Siggi) "Bogomil Font" Baldursson (of KUKL & Sugarcubes fame), Snorri Helgason (of Sprengjuhöllin fame), Guðmundur Pálsson (of Baggalútur fame), Sigurður Guðmundsson (of Hjálmar), Egill Ólafsson (of Stuðmenn fame) & Bó Halldórsson
"Hvað segja dýrin"

"Skrímslin í skápnum"

Icelandic Music Laboratory Part 2 with band "Who Knew" @ Berlin 23. January 2009

101 Berlin presents

Icelandic Music Laboratory Part 2

23. January 2009 @ Roter Salon/Volksbühne
Eine kleine Insel zwischen Amerika und Europa nahe dem nördlichen Polarkreis mit 300.000 Einwohnern stellt man sich eher langweilig vor, doch Island ist das komplette Gegenteil. Island ist ein Land der Gegensätze, Vulkane treffen auf Gletscher und Melancholie auf Wahnsinn.
Start of the evening with the Documentary "Ketill" of Tómas Lemarquis (Icelandic actor of Dagur Kári's "NÓI ALBINÓI" fame) & Joseph Marzolla.
Trailer @ http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=32487759

Who Knew
Indie-, Party- & Powerpop-Band bringing a Mix of Amerikanischem Westküsten-Rock & Schottischem Volkstanz
Best of Icelandic Music Party
Surrealistische Individualmusik, klirrender Elektro-Pop, schrammiger Garage-Rock, feinster Indie-Rock, Trip Hop or just echtes Songwriting
@ 21:00: 9 EUR Movie + Concert + Party
@ 23:00: 8 EUR Concert + Party
@ 24:00: 6 EUR Party

Part 1 was with Siggi Ármann
Part 1 had the Film Première of the Documentary "The Sound of my Life" about Icelandic songwriters
Here's the link for the Teaser for "The Sound of my Life" Music Documentary of Wera Uschakowa & FLorian Japp featuring Icelandic singer-songwriter/Mugison guitarist Pétur Ben, trubadors Siggi Ármann & Helgi Valur Ásgeirsson & singer Lára Rúnarsdóttir