Disco? In Iceland? I’ll let you all in on a dirty little secret, Icelanders once disco’d the hell out of disco. In fact, one of their own, Þórir Baldursson was rather successful in the US working with Donna Summers and others during the global disco hayday. While Disco on the small island may have been short lived, Boogie Trouble is doing a fine job of bringing it back with their ‘disco-funk-full-o-soul’ style of music.
Boogie trouble started in 2011. Myth has it the band tweaked a reggae tune to match their style and decided to keep at it. The members are all experienced musicians, with Ingibjörg Elsa Turchi formerly of Rökkurró on bass; Helga Ragnarsdóttir currently of Rökkurró on keys; Sigurður Tómas Guðmundsson formerly of Snorri Helgason’s old band Sprengjuhöllin on drums; Sindri Freyr Steinsson from Iceland’s Surf rock band Bárujárn on guitar and vocals, and lead singer Klara Arnalds, who has the ability to soothingly punch the grumpies out of any audience member within range of her energetic smile and waves of flying hair.
On my must see list at Iceland Airwaves this year, the band came highly recommended from a slew of Icelandic musicians. There is a dangerous line that can be crossed when playing funk or disco, but their strong songwriting and musical craftwork bring the energy and fun of that era while leaving behind any unintentional signs of gimmick. They were tight on the instruments and every one of them on stage appeared to be having a good time.
Most of their songs are in Icelandic, but the manner in which they are written, and the enjoyment and energy the band projects from the stage make the language barrier moot. They do have a few cover songs, including Britney Spear’s Toxic, which you can download for free at Soundcloud.
1. What is your favorite off-venue Airwaves, or Icelandic joint to jam at? The best place to go partying is probably Harlem because even when it sucks it is tolerable. The best place to play music used to be Faktorý but that got torn down to build hotels.
2. If you combine all of your favorite colors (for you, add your bandmates if you would), what do you get? Litographicly probably some sort of brown sludge. That or purple.
3. What are 3 of your favorite little known bands of Icelandic origin? Svartidauði, Nolo, Ojba Rasta, the list goes on. A lot of talented people happen to live on this rock.
4. If you could be any creature playing your favorite song, what would the creature be? And what is the song. Cthulu playing Strawberry letter 23, with The Brothers Johnson. That would probably be deep.