fimmtudagur, september 11, 2008

Icelandic Record Labels: Gramm Records Label @ Laugavegur 17, 101 Reykjavik (1981-1987)

Gramm Records was established in 1981 out of an urgent need for a platform for new creative music in Iceland.
It set itself the task of breaking out of the vicious circle of the existing musical situation and it has been the company's aim throughout its pratice of setting up concerts, importing and releasing records to promote creative music both locally and internationally. In Iceland, Gramm Records may not be the leading record company when thinking in terms of quantity, but despite its modest output the company's influence on the Icelandic music scene is by now very significant.

Gramm was an Icelandic record label created by Ásmundur Jónsson and Einar Örn Benediktsson in 1981.
Located in Reykjavík, Gramm’s first release was a 10-track 7" vinyl titled "Tilf" by Purrkur Pillnikk, a punk group led by Einar Örn.
Besides releasing all Purrkur Pillnikk’ records, Gramm also issued works of artists like the English experimental group Psychic TV, Björk's first band Tappi Tíkarrass and KUKL (featuring Björk and Einar Örn). There were others like the legendary rock band Þeyr, punk groups such as Vonbrigði and others.
In 1987 Gramm went bankrupt. Ásmundur and some of the musicians who were playing in KUKL created Smekkleysa, that ultimately became Bad Taste, worldwide known by The Sugarcubes.

The Gramm Discography / Catalogue / Distribution
Year # Title Artist

1981 Gramm 1 "Tilf " Purrkur Pillnikk (7" EP)
1982 Gramm 2 "Music Concrete" The Dirty Dan Project (7" EP)
1981 Gramm 3 "Ekki Enn" Purrkur Pillnikk (LP):
"a band who issue short strident blasts of noise and words ... not strictly music" (Zig Zag)
1982 Gramm 4 "Eddukvæði" Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson (LP + Booklet):
Timeless Pagan Poetry
The Poetic Edda performed by Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson contains a booklet in 4 languages. This record consists of 75 stanzas from Havamal (The Sayings of Har), Völuspa (The Prophency of Seeress) and Sigurdrifumal (The Lay of Sigurdrifa). These stanzas are only a small part of the great cycle, which has been entitled The Poetic Edda. The oldest example of European vernacular poetry. The performer is Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson, a farmer at Draghals in Svinadalur and the official head of the heathen sect of Asatru in Iceland. Sveinbjörn is well known rimur singer or kvaedamadur in Iceland, using a traditional style of performance which is sometimes between singing and speaking. For Sveinbjörn this special style of performing the rimur is derived from the earlier performances of the Poetic Edda and his rendering of the poems on the record is in accordance with that view.
198? Gramm 5 "Pakk" Pakk (Cassette)
1982 Gramm 6 "Googooplex" Purrkur Pillnikk (2x12" 45)
1982 Gramm 7 "Svonatorrek" Jonee Jonee (LP)
1982 Gramm 8 "Líf" Stanya (12" 45):
The first solo record by the former Þeyr guitarist, Stanya, featuring his own compositions performed by himself on a variety of instruments.
1982 Gramm 9 "No Time to Think" Purrkur Pillnikk (7" EP)
1983 Gramm 10 "Maskínan" (Live) Purrkur Pillnikk (LP)
1983 Gramm 11 "Skítseiði" Vonbrigði (7" EP)
1983 Gramm 12 "Q1" Q4U (12" 45)
1983 Gramm 13 "Listur með Orma" Svart hvítur Draumur (S.H. Draumur) (Cassette)
1983 Gramm 14 "Kakofonía" Vonbrigði (LP):
"This is beautiful, this is ugly, this is cacophony, this is cacophonical, is personal, human-beastly, immortal"
1983 Gramm 15 "The Boys from Chicago" Þorlákur Kristinnsson/Íkarus (LP):
Þorlákur Kristinsson has been an uncompromising spokesman for the migratory workers' movement in Iceland for many years. His lyrics focus on the conditions of fishermen and workers in the fish industry in Iceland as well as dealing with international issues like the Chicago economists, the coup in Chile and the threat of nuclear war.
1983 Gramm 16 "Miranda" Tappi Tíkarrass (LP):
"A sligthly punkish soft drink" (Trix). The now defunkt group of female vocalist Björk from KUKL.
1983 Gramm 17 "Söngull" KUKL (7" Single):
Söngull is a version of "Dismembered" (a song from "The Eye" Album). With Icelandic lyrics and guitar instead of pipes/bells playing the intro.(Source:
1984 Gramm 18 "Rás 5-20" Íkarus (LP)
1984 Gramm 19 "Djöfuls ég" P.P. (10" 33)
1984 Gramm 20 "Lili Marlene" Das Kapital (LP):
Das Kapital was formed by the singer/songwriter Bubbi Morthens early in 1984. In this lyrics, through the years, he has vocalized many of the complaints of the Migrant Workers Movement and stated the Anti-Nuclear and Anti-Military Expansionist views. These roots are very much the foundation of Das Kapital.
Das Kapital is a statement about the current political crisis in Iceland and the class struggle.
1984 Gramm 21 "Möndlur" Hrím (LP)
1984 Gramm 22 "Hringurinn" (Soundtrack) Lárus Grímsson (LP):
Stirring synthesizer music from Fridrik Thor Fridriksson's new film, featuring Icelandic landscapes.
1984 Gramm 23 "Those Who Do Not" Psychic TV (2LP)
1986 Gramm 24 / Kabell "Human Rights" Leo Smith (LP)
1985 Gramm 25 "Kona" Bubbi Morthens (LP)
198? Gramm 26 "LFellibylurinn Gloría" Various Artists
1986 Gramm 27 "Lystisnekkjan Gloría" Various Artists (Björk)
1987 Gramm 28 "No Pain" Ornamental (12" 45)
1986 Gramm 29 "Blús fyrir Rikka" Bubbi Morthens (LP)
1987 Gramm 30 "Frelsi til sölu" Bubbi Morthens (LP)
1987 Gramm 31 "Skytturnar" Various Artists * (LP)
1987 Gramm 32 "Skapar Fegurðin Hamingju?" Bubbi Morthens & MX-21 (LP)
1987 Gramm 33 ??? ???
1987 Gramm 34 "Loftmynd" Megas (LP)
1987 Gramm 35 "Dögun" Bubbi Morthens (LP)
1988 Gramm 36 "Höfuðlausnir" Megas (LP)
1988 Gramm 37 ???
1988 Gramm 38 "Bubbi 56" Bubbi Morthens (LP)
1988 Gramm 39 / Erðanúmúsik E17 "Bless" S.H. Draumur (12" EP) (500 copies)
1988 Gramm 40 "Bláir draumar" Bubbi Morthens & Megas (LP)

1984 Gramm ?? "Blar Azzure" Jonee Jonee (7")

ESQ 1 "Idur til fota" Þeyr (10" 45)
ESQ 2 "Mjotvidur maer" Þeyr (12" 45)
MJÖT 1 "The Fourth Reich" Þeyr (12" 45)
1982 GM 2 "Lunaire" Þeyr (7" EP)
1982 HUG 001 "Rokk i Reykjavik" (Soundtrack) Various Artists (2LP)
198? G 100 "Clarinet Concerto" Áskell Másson (LP)
1988 GCD 101 "Trio for clarinet, violin & viola" Áskell Másson
1986 ??? "Fellibylurinn" Gloría Gyrðir Elíasson

(*): Skytturnar was the soundtrack to the film directed by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson. It featured The Sugarcubes, Bubbi Morthens, and Megas, among others.
Source: Adaptation of Wikipedia topic on Gramm Records & Text on the 2LP "Those who do not"

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