Tag Archives: gusgus

Icelandic Bands of Iceland Airwaves 2017

With less than two months left before the big festival, Iceland Airwaves have announced the final list of artists performing at the festival. Unlike past years, Iceland Airwaves will be in two cities this year, Reykjavik and Akureyri giving festival goers a chance to see more of the island, and from the looks of it, bringing more Icelandic bands from all over together to play.

187 bands have been announced so far of which 142 are Icelandic.  I make this page as a quick reference and it’s a good thing to bookmark while you’re at the festival. There will be times where your plans may not come to fruition and you can look at the app, find a band you’ve never heard of for plan B, and use the quick reference here to see if you dig it.

With Icelandic bands it can always be hard to categorize their music styles as one of the greatest things about them is their ability to snag and grab their favorite things from all over the musical spectrum and make it work for them. So these lists are just general nods in the direction you may be looking for, for example, the Dance table, they sit right on the edge of electronic and dance pop/rock and beats. But I tried to focus on the prominence of a lead singer and the beats of the bulk of their songs in deciding which side to place them.

I’ve also made a table of just Möller Records and Thule Records artists as they have quite the strong presence this year. Both of these record labels have continually brought amazing electronic acts out of the Icelandic woodwork for years and I’m really stoked to visit their stage and get my fill of their collective music.

Categorizing some bands can be extremely difficult as they run borders are freely through genres, so if you feel a band needs to be moved into a different category let me know and I’ll change it.

Electronic / DJ / Atmospheric / experimental
Chevron DJ Snorri Ástráðs Frank Murder Good Moon Deer
Kosmodod Ljósvaki Púlsvídd Röskva
Ruxpin Tonik ensemble TRPTYCH Yagya
Veteran Electronic Record Labels: Möller & Thule Records
Án (M) Andartak (M) Bistro Boy (M) Cold (T)
Futuregrapher (M) Gunnar Jónsson Collider (M) NonniMal (T) Octal Industries (T)
Ohm (T) Subliminal (M) Thor (T) Vector (T)
Dance / electronic / pop / rock
Blissfull GusGus Mikael Lind Milkywhale
PASHN Sólveig Matthildur Sykur Sylvia
Rock / Pop / Singer/Songwriter / Indie / Dance
200.000 Naglbítar AFK Ásgeir AUÐUR
aYia Benny Crespo’s Gang Between Mountains Biggi Hilmars
Daði Freyr Dísa Einarlndra Emiliana Torrini & the Colorist
Fai Baba Fox Train Safari Fufanu Gangly
Godchilla Godchilla Grúska Babúska Guðrún Ýr
Hildur Hugar JANA JFDR
Jón Jónsson KALLI Kiriyama Family Lára Rúnars
Maus Megas Mighty Bear Nilüfer Yanya
Omotrack One week wonder Ösp Oyama
Par-Ðar Pascal Pinon Paunkholm Pranke
Ragga Grönda RuGl Rythmatik SiGRÚN
Skaði Þórðardóttir Skrattar Snorri Helgason Soffía Björg
Sóley Special K Sycamore Tree Tilbury
TSS Tusks Una Stef Valdimar
Védís Warmland
Punk / Metal / Hardcore / Garage Rock / Prog Rock
Dr. Gunni For a Minor Reflection Fræbbblarnir Gróa
HAM Hatari Hórmónar Kælan Mikla
Kontinuum Korter í flog Mammút Phlegm
Pink Street Boys ROHT Skelkur í bringu Tappi Tíkarrass
Tófa Une Misère We Made God
Hip-Hop / Trap / R&B / Rap
Alexander Jarl Alvia Islandia Aron Can Birnir
Cell 7 Chase Cryptochrome Cyber
Dillalude Elli Grill Emmsjé Gauti Fever Dream
Geisha Cartel GKR Glowie Holy Hrafn
Ider Joey Christ JóiPé og Króli KÁ-AKÁ
Lord Pusswhip Rari boys Reykjavíkurdætur Shades of Reykjavik
Sturla Atlas Tiny Valby Bræður
Composers / atmospheric
Bára Gísladóttir GlerAkur Gyða Valtýsdóttir Halldór Eldjárn
Jónas Sen
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Iceland Airwaves 2015

And, the final announcement is out. Almost 230 bands will be at Iceland Airwaves 2015, and while we’ll definitely miss Björk and Mammút, The Airwaves staff have outdone themselves with the roster this year. This is the most bands I have seen yet, 155 of the 230 bands are Icelandic, and they span the spectrum of every genre. Here is the new announcement, Directed, edited and created by the wonderful Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir, Sin Fang once again is credited with the music, and… Now we all know who Gangly is.

Also announced for this year is a festival within a festival. On Sunday, the final night of the festival,the mini-festival called Extreme Chill will happen at the Vodafone Hall. One last hurrah and “laid back” night of music, featuring Hot Chip, Introbeats, dj. flugvél og geimskip, Agent Fresco, Emmsjé Gauti, Sleaford Mods, Úlfur Úlfur and FM Belfast. You can learn more about it here. It’s a fantastic idea, because if you have done Airwaves right, nothing will sound better than only having to go to one place to finish off in musical bliss.

As I did for 2014 and 2013, I’ve listed all of the Icelandic bands playing into loosely divided into genres on this page.  Clicking on their name will open a new tab with the Iceland Airwaves info page for that artist, which includes Soundcloud, Social media links, and a short bio.

This list is just the Icelandic bands playing, if you want to see the full line-up go to the Iceland Airwaves Line-up page.

RocknRoll – Indie Rock – Pop Rock – Rock Rock
Agent Fresco Bárujárn Borko CeaseTone
Dikta Dr. Gunni Elin helena FM Belfast
Fufanu Geislar Hallelewah HAM
Hide your kids Himbrimi Hjaltalín John Grant & the ISO
Just Another Snake Cult kimono Kiriyama Family Klassart
Lára Rúnars Low Roar MAMMÚT Mosi Musik
Mosi Musik Mr. Silla Oyama Red Barnett
Rhytmatik Runar Thorisson Russian.girls Sindri Eldon & the Ways
Teitur Magnússon Toneron Trúboðarnir Valdimar
Var The Vintage Caravan Vio Þórir Georg
Singer/Songwriter – Folk – Blues/Jazz – Composers – Classical
Árstíðir Aurora Axel Flóvent Beebee and the Bluebirds
Brim DALÍ Fura Grúska Babúska
Helgi Valur Hymnalaya Jónas Sen Júníus Meyvant
Justman Lucy in Blue Magnús Leifur Máni Orrason
Markús & The Diversion Sessions  Mógil My Bubba Nordic Affect
Par-Ðar Soffía Björg Sóley TUSK
Þórunn Antonía og Bjarni Ylja
All things Electronica – Dance / DJs / Composers / ambient / ElectroPop / noise
Agzilla Arni Vector Arnljótur Art is Dead
Asonat Auður Berndsen Bistro Boy
Brilliantinus Daveeth dj. Flugvél og geimskip DÖPUR
Dream wife Exos Futuregrapher Gangly
Ghostigital Good Moon Deer Gunnar Jónsson Collider Gus Gus
H.dór Hekla HimBrim Jack Magnet Quintet
Jóhann Eiriksson Jón Ólafsson & Futuregrapher Kiasmos Kippi Kaninus
LaFontaine Lord Pusswhip M-Band Mafama
Mankan Milkywhale Miri Mikael Lind
Mike Hunt Mr. Signout Odinn OHM
Royal Ruxpin Serengeti by President Bongo Skurken
SMURJÓN Snooze infinity Súrefni Sykur
Thor Tonik Ensemble Trptych Vaginaboys
Vök Waage Yagya Yamaho
Young Karin
Punk – Hardcore
Æla Börn Caterpillarmen Grísalappalísa
In the Company of Men Kælan Mikla Muck Pink Street Boys
Skelkur í bringu
All Shades of Metal
Beneath Bubbi Og Dimma Endless Dark Kontinuum
Misþyrming Momentum-Malneirophrenia Severed Sinmara
Svartidauði
Hip-Hop – Rap – Reggae
AmbAdama B-Ruff Cell 7 Cheddy Carter
Emmsjé Gauti Epic Rain Gísli Pálmi Herra Hnetusmjör
Kut Grapje Ojba Rasta Reykjavíkurdætur Shades of Reykjavik
Sturla Atlas Úlfur Úlfur

You can listen to all the bands playing this year via Iceland Airwaves Spotify playlist here:

And here are the previous video announcements:

Video four was Directed, produced, and shot by Máni M Sigfússon, starring Kælan Mikla, with music by Sin Fang:

Video three was produced by Les Frères Stefson, directed and written by, Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson And the banker was Haraldur Ari Stefánsson:

Video two with Hrafnkell Örn Guðjónsson drumming away as band names float across the screen:

First announcement with Dj. Flugvél og Geimski:

I would suggest getting your tickets sooner than later, especially if you are planning on doing a package you’ll have more hotel options in the beginning now than you will in a month. Typically the festival sells out, but with the line up looking as good as it does this year, I would imagine it will sell out sooner than later. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of “you snooze, you lose”

If you want to see what the past has been like, here is a link to all my Iceland Airwaves related posts.  And here is the link to the Iceland Airwaves Flickr page if you want to see just how fun this festival really is.

Hope to see you there.

Iceland invasion in Boston, Ólöf Arnalds and GusGus

olofgus

There will be two different Icelandic acts performing this weekend in Boston. On Saturday the 11th,  Ólöf Arnalds will be at the Paradise Rock Club for the sold out Jose Gonzalez / Ólöf Arnalds gig, and GusGus will be performing at the Sinclair on Sunday the 12th. Two completely different genres of Icelandic music in one weekend.

Ólöf Arnalds has one of those voices that translates well over many different types of music. She’s a former member of múm and has collaborated with a good deal of the Icelandic musician populace while finding the time to release 3 of her own albums. This video is from her newest album, Palme:

Við og Við is the album that I was introduced to her by, and it’s a sweet traditional album of what I have always felt were folktales. Her newer albums have taken that sweet traditional style and incorporated unique beats and modern sounds creating an individual style of troubadour-ism, and she’s started to sing in English which is good for us poor souls that, try as we might, can’t seem to get the Icelandic language down. I’ve had the opportunity to see her a few times around Iceland and each time felt as if this was a personal gig for friends hanging out, as if she had just shown up with a guitar and wanted to play, catering to the atmosphere of the individual venue she was at.

She’s playing with another talented singer-songwriter named Jose Gonzalez. Of Argentinian descent, Jose was born and grew up in Sweden. There’s a great cross culture of pop, latin, and northern found in his songs.

Ólöf Arnalds comes from a diversely musical family. She’s the cousin of Ólafur Arnalds, and she’s the sister of Klara Arnalds of Boogie Trouble. And as you know, I am a massive fan of Boogie Trouble.  Lucky you if you are going to the gig, it’s going to be a great way to spend a Saturday evening.

GusGus have been around for 20 years now and have 10 albums under their belt, 9 studio albums and one live. It’s an ever evolving beast that has been home for many musicians, including Emilíana Torrini, and Magnús Guðmundsson. It now consists of 3 members, Birgir Þórarinsson, Daniel Ágúst Haraldsson, and Högni Egilsson.

Their albums are all in the wide spectrum of electronic, sometimes moody but mostly energetic tracks that come across well both on album and live. Forever will always hold a special place in my collection, as during the time I lost 200lbs, Forever was one of the most frequently used albums as the beat just happened to run parallel to mine at the gym. While they do have a darker feel occasionally, there’s a high energetic wave-band that flows out of them.

I promise no one will be just standing around Sunday night. I’ve seen them play massive gigs with many people on stage in Iceland as well as dj sets in bar-like atmospheres with only a few of them, and they always put on a fantastic show.

It’s going to be a fantastic weekend of music around Beantown so I suggest you get up and out and do something.  There has been a great deal more of Icelandic bands visiting our city, and I hope it continues as it’s been great seeing these folks off the island.

Readers choice, top 10 Icelandic bands

Last week I posted 15 bands I thought you should know.  The response to that blog was somewhat incredible in my little blog world.  Some of you are very, VERY, angry individuals, both towards the bands chosen as well as the person who’d dare pick some and leave others out.  And some of you came up with great alternatives or bands you wished were on it.

So in this post, I took the top suggestions you commented and emailed about, as well as a few more new bands I think you should check out.  As before, click on their name to find out more about them.  So, without further ado:

Agent Fresco

A good indie style rock back, akin to “At the Drive In” They’ve been in the scene since 2008, and are working on a new album as we speak.  A mellow style of math rock with creative licks and lyrics that seem to float over the top.

GusGus

GusGus is indeed a veteran  band of Iceland.  A little bit of trip-hop, a lot electronic, the band has been on the scene for almost 20 years.  Over the years, there have been many members, and those members have gone on to start production companies and other bands.  GusGus can count musicians such as Emilíana Torrini, and Daníel Ágúst amongst their ranks.  The above video is from the new Album Mexico, it’s a great album and I am currently working on a post about them, so stay tuned.

Reykjavik!

Reverent, conservative, Sunday morning driving music.  Yeahno, they’ve been around since Christ was a child, and their music is crassly clever, aggressive punk rock promoting whatever they want when they want to.  Oddly enough, on the East river walkway a few weeks ago, the song above came on, and as all the asshattedly good looking folks were surrounding me, it seemed the fitting soundtrack to my movie-like fantasty of tossing them into the river.  A lot of fun to hear live, and their massive catalog of albums is worthy of your attention.

Vigri

I’m actually quite glad a few people recommended this band.  A large contrast to Reykjavik!  Vigri is soothing, with floating lyrics over what on the surface appears to be mellow music.  But there’s a hidden intensity that creeps up on you.  I first saw them play two or so years ago, and last year at Airwaves I made everyone that came with me see the band at least once.  Not one person came back with bad things to say, even the grumpy metal guy.  I’m impatiently waiting patiently for the new album, the new material they played at Airwaves last year was fantastic.

 Legend

Mínus was the first hardcore Icelandic band I heard.  I believe it was Chimera off of the Fálkar soundtrack.  Legend is Krummi Björgvinsson from Mínus and keyboardist Halldor Björnsson.  It’s dark, sometimes industrial, sometimes rock, and it’s good, crazy good.  These guys are not to be missed live.

Pascal Pinon

I placed Samaris on the original list, one of the other projects by Jófríður Ákadóttir, but Pascal Pinon is the sweet, smooth and charming band of her and her sister, Ásthildur.  Haunting vocals and soothing instrumentals make for a very relaxing, excellent combination.  Excellent for when you just need to sit back and relax.

Just another Snake Cult

Good old fashion rock, nothing fancy but damn it’s good.  They put on an extremely high energy live gig as well.  Created by Þórir Bogason, somewhat a genius in the Icelandic music scene, their music just makes you feel good.

Snorri Helgason

Snorri’s first band, Sprengjuhöllin was a super band of sorts.  He epitomizes the hard work ethic of Icelandic musicians.  He is constantly on the go touring everywhere he can while writing and releasing music.  Later this year he will be in Connecticut with the likes of Lay Low and Svavar Knútur at the Icelandic music festival, Iceland Affair.  He’s blessed with incredible writing skills, and his songs are summer porch gems to be shared with friends and beer.

There are two newer bands that I really feel you should check out:

Cell 7

The day before Airwaves of 2013, I was standing in Lucky records with only a handful of people, when just a DJ and Ragna (Cell 7) broke into her rap.  It quickly reminded me of the old days, and her improvising, action with the crowd, and overall set was amazing.  I highly suggest you check out her stuff, and if you can, pick up her new album, CELLF

Dj. flugvél og geimskip

Trippy, spacey grooves with an incredibly fluid high pitched voice.  Dee-Lite has to love this DJ, and if you liked Dee-Lite you will love her as well.  So, set up the disco ball, lava lamp and trip out.

So there you go, more Icelandic bands for you to get to know, this time crowd sourced for your listening pleasure.  There is a lot of music out there, and it’s easy to find new stuff you yourself will dig.  Check out the Iceland Music Export page, or get the book Blue Eyed Pop to learn more about the history, distant and yesterday, of the Icelandic music scene.