sunnudagur, desember 28, 2008

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 @
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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

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

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

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
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
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
Mínus: Leisure
album: Jesus Christ Bobby
Smekkleysa SM 88 CD
Mínus: Pulse
album: Jesus Christ Bobby
Smekkleysa SM 88 CD

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