Monthly Archives: May 2013

Reykjavik Music Mess


Alas, I am still a day away from having an actual computer to work with, moving is such bliss and the like. But I wanted to take a moment and share with you an independent music festival that is happening this weekend in Reykjavik, May 24-26. The Reykjavik music mess is going on, and if you’re around the Island I would suggest checking it out. The gigs will be happening at the Kex Hostel, and Volta.

There are a lot of great bands that will be playing, a few that I’ve posted blogs on such as MAMMÚT and Oyama. And other great bands like Sykur, Bloodgroup, Muck and Just Another Snake Cult. Here is the full line up:


Their website has a playlist where you can hear the bands, which you should go listen to even if you can’t make the festival. And if you do go, let us know how it went.

Very late notice, Airwaves adds 25 more bands

I know I know, I’m late for this one. I’m currently moving so life has been insane lately, but I failed to update the Airwaves page as well as say that they now have added 25 more bands, 20 of which appear to be Icelandic. I’ve really got my work cut out for me as I plan creating an aggregate source for each and every Icelandic band doing Airwaves this year. Hopefully I get moved in quick enough to even attempt to get caught up.

So which Icelandic bands have been added?

Ólafur Arnalds, Sólstafir, Prins Póló, RetRoBot, The Vintage Caravan, Borko, Kontinuum, Samaris, Ophidian, I, Himnalaya Angist, Low Roar, Nolo, UMTBS, Lord Pusswhip, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Blood Feud, and Magnoose.

Non Icelandic bands include Yo La Tango, El Rojo Adios, TAPE, Carmen Villain, Moon King, and the Jacob Juhkam Bänd.

As always, you can enter your email and follow my blog, and of course if Airwaves is something you’re even thinking of doing, you should go to the Iceland Airwaves website and subscribe to their mailing list. It’s non-intrusive, but will let you know right off what’s going on.

I will update my Airwaves page with the Icelandic Artists websites/Facebook/Gogoyoko profiles later this week, but until then, here is their Spotify and Soundcloud playlist, which you can always find on my Iceland Airwaves 2013 post.

and here is their Spotify playlist:



Three gals, two guys, that’s MAMMÚT.  An Icelandic 5 piece that’s been on the scene for around 9 years.  They have crafted the art of delivering a wall of sound both live and on record with Kata, the lead singer sending out vocals akin to an offspring of Grace Slick and Linda Perry.  Kata on vocals, Ása strumming bass, Alexandra and Arnar at  guitar, and Andri banging the drums and percussion.

3 or 4 months after forming, they won the coveted Músiktilraunir, the annual Icelandic battle of the bands.  Two years later their first album, Mammútwas released.  Basic rock in the vein of the Breeders or Linda Perry topped with a dash or three of late 60’s psychedelic rock.   There are times I can play Miðnæturmetall two or three times before moving on to the next track.

The second album, Karkari,  has a darker feel.  It’s still rock heavy, such as the terrific bass thumping on the beginning of Geimþrá, and the album ends with an instrumentally heavy track, Í Leyni, which could easily be confused for a Godspeed You Black Emperor or Mogwai song.  Very heavy, very loud, and oh so awesome on a stereo.

Between the two albums and their new track, MAMMÚT did Bakkus with KEXP:

I love that the video captures Kata’s “I’m almost going to explode, but I’ll do it very quietly” way of singing, she really is awesome to see live, and the only thing I miss from this and their records is just what powerful lungs she actually has, that fire haired girl really knows how to sing.  But then again, watching this band live really restores your faith in music, as even when it’s a simple riff, or slow drum line, these guys are always into it.  It’s a live gig you should make a priority to see, you’ll get into it just from the energy they give off because their into it.

I want to go off-topic for a moment and bring up KEXP, the folks who did the Bakkus video.  The crew that covers Iceland Airwaves from KEXP are an incredible sort.  I always end up running into them once or twice during the festival as they are incredibly hard workers.  Typically out late to catch as many shows as they can, only to wake up extremely early to go here and there recording Icelandic musicians for special performances all during Airwaves.  A lot of material you will find on Airwaves comes from the recordings and sessions of KEXP.  Last year they were headquartered at the hostel Kex, recording off-venue gigs, broadcasting their live shows, and generally having a good time.

MAMMÚT have been teasing us about new material for quite some time now, and it looks as if it’s finally going to happen.  On the new single, Salt,we get those haunting vocals, and a much darker, more prominent base line.  It feels a lot more like Í Leyni than their other catalog and so yes, I’m quite excited for the new album.  Also, it will be in English and Icelandic, so you won’t have to go guessing just exactly what the hell they are saying, if you’re not versed in the Icelandic language.

The band was kind enough to take the time to answer my 4 vital questions, so here they are:

1. What is your favorite off-venue Airwaves, or Icelandic joint to jam at?  A few year ago we played a gig in Ása’s (our bassist) basement. She used to live in a huge house in downtown Reykjavík and turned the basement into an art gallery, and there we played a secret show for a few good people.

2. If you combine all of your favorite colors (for you, add your bandmates if you would), what do you get? It would be a crazy new color. We’d probably call it “Mammút blue”

3. What are 3 of your favorite little known bands of Icelandic origin?  Well we’d have to define “little known” first. If we’re talking about bands who haven’t experienced a huge international success (yet) then we’d have to say Samaris, Agent Fresco and Ojba Rasta.

4. If you could be any creature playing your favorite song, what would the creature be? And what is the song.  Most likely we’d like to be a frog singing Ave Maria.

You can keep up, and find out more about MAMMÚT on their Facebook and Tumblr pages.  And of course their two albums and new single are conveniently located on Gogoyoko.

Lay Low live stream

Lay Low (click link for my post on her) doing an online gig from the comfort of her living room this weekend, you should definitely check it out.

Iceland, Defrosted

The lovely Lay Low, who features in Iceland Defrosted, is performing a live concert from her home in Iceland on Saturday May 4th, and this can be seen on the Inspired by Iceland website. I will definately be tuning in. 


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