Iceland is a little island straddling two continents somewhat isolated from the rest of the world. So it’s diversity in musical style always amazes me. Ojba Rasta is rooted in reggae definitely, but there are a lot of influences and alternating vibes in their music. And since the band has enough members to populate a small Icelandic village, it’s no surprise to find elements of funk, rock, dub and electro intertwined in the upbeat core of their music.
Formed around 2009 the band began as a 10 piece, but as things happen, they now have 11 members that make up their reggae stew including an organ, multiple guitars, bass, trumpets, a saxaphone, and of course, a dub-master.
Jolly good is probably their most famous track outside of Iceland. It’s one of the few tracks sung in English and shows off their ability to mix different styles into a very smooth feel good piece, though I do find it highly suspect that the lead singer is a little white girl. On their Soundcloud page you can find two more songs by the band.
Being a large band full of interesting characters, Ojba Rasta always put a good show on and have a knack for entertaining the crowd not only with music, but their attitudes and interactions as well. Once again, I’ve uncovered proof of such a statement thanks to KEXP. This is a video of their gig at last year’s Airwaves festival at the Kex Hostel.:
Ojba Rasta have released a self titled full length album, of which the three tracks on Soundcloud do indeed reside. If you are located outside of the states, you can pick up the album on Gogoyoko here. Otherwise it’s available on Amazon or iTunes. They are working on a second album slated for a 2013 release, and plan to tour in Germany after Airwaves 2013. You can check out their Facebook page here.
Very chill, and one of the best ways to relax during a hectic gig schedule at Airwaves. I highly suggest you check them out. And yup yup, the band answered my 4 questions, here they be:
1. What is your favorite off-venue Airwaves, or Icelandic joint to jam at? At Airwaves 2012 we only played one off-venue gig and it was at the Kex hostel. The concert was broadcasted live from KEXP Radio and the footage was sweet. The weather was crazy that day in Iceland and in the U.S. We loved the whole expierence… We also love playing at Nasa and Faktorý. (I’ve included the video above)
2. If you combine all of your favorite colors (for you, add your bandmates if you would), what do you get? Neon sea flaming blue/green.
3. What are 3 of your favorite little known bands of Icelandic origin? Mmm….Tough question.. maybe: Amaba Dama, Nolo and Boogie Trouble.
4. If you could be any creature playing your favorite song, what would the creature be? And what is the song? It would have to be a lion playing Iron Lion Zion by Bob Marley or maybe a black panther playing Rock & Roll Suicide by David Bowie.