Tag Archives: pascal pinon

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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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.

 

 

 

You really should be at ATP in Iceland…

ATPIceland

Why go all the way to a continent straddling island for a music fest?  Perhaps because it’s at the old NATO base Ásbrú, perhaps because Iceland is really beautiful in the summer, and/or perhaps the fact that Portishead, Slowdive, Shellac, Interpol and Fuck Buttons, and all the other goody bands listed in the graphic above will be there.

This is the second ATP Iceland and combine it’s newness with their already selective process for music and you get a festival made just for music lovers.  Neil Young and Ólafur Arnalds will be doing ATP Takeover events near the city on days leading up to the festival, and the long weekend of the festival looks to be chocked full of music and mayhem.

There are movies, DJ sets, as well as the concerts, so if you get bored that’s your own fault.  The Icelandic music blog Rok Musik has a great post on the festival, and the folks over at Grapevine did a little Q&A with some of the artists coming up.  Get yer tix and we’ll see you there.

I have to put in a special plug, as not only is Pharmakon from Sacred Bones Records playing, but the guru of Sacred Bones himself, Caleb is DJ’ing a set in the DJ tent.  They are not Icelanders, but one of my favorite labels out of NY.

ATPICELANDgroup

**All pics pilfered via google image search

As this is an Icelandic music blog, or at least tries to be, I’ll forego my crushes and gushes for some of the non-Icelandic acts (Shell-Fukkin-Ac) and focus my admirations and infatuations on the Icelanders involved.

I put together a playlist on Soundcloud of the Icelandic bands playing, and I put videos down below for bands not really represented on Soundcloud.

HAM:

Singapore Sling:

It’s a mix of metal and electronics, all somewhat enjoyably on the heavy side.  Epic metal veterans HAM will be there, as well as Icelandic music 101 staples, For a Minor Reflection, MAMMÚT, Singapore Sling. and self described “dynamite rockers” Náttfari are performing.

Sóley is back from the time she took off for her family, and it wouldn’t be an Icelandic gig without Sin Fang doing something for the crowd.  The sweethearts of Pascal Pinon and Samaris are also doing a set, and one of the founders of the Bedroom community, Ben Frost, will be performing.  Captain Fufanu has nixed the Captain, so Fufanu will be entertaining the masses, and adding another artist to the list of musicians I haven’t seen previously, Kría Brekkan (formerly, like 8 years and a musical lifetime ago formerly, of múm) will also be there.

So yes, you should be in Iceland mid July for this awesome festival, I will be.  Learn more about it here.

This is the Playlist for all the bands, foreign and native alike:

spotify to follow soon.