Was an Independent, Do It Yourself Blog dedicated to Icelandic music by music slut Wim Van Hooste

Was an Independent, Do It Yourself Blog dedicated to Icelandic music by music slut Wim Van Hooste
Moved back to I love Icelandic music & started new blog Icelandic Music Mob
The Enfant Terrible of the Icelandic Music Scene - Crapule de Luxe Islandaise
The Mob
and I love Icelandic music

September 28, 2011

New Mugison Album "Haglél"

You can order the new album of Mugison @ his website or download it @ Gogoyoko.
"Haglél" contains songs all in Icelandic.

Interview with Apparat Organ Quartet

2 members Sighvatur Ómar Kristinsson & Hördur Bragason of Apparat Organ Quartet interviewed @ cph venue, Vega on 24. September 2011

Nóló "S.J." in the FM Belfast RMX

"S.J." remixed by FM Belfast
  Nóló - S.J. (FM Belfast Remix) by fmbelfast

September 25, 2011

Sólstafir "Fjara"

"Fjara", a track of the new album "Svartir Sandar" (Season of Mist, 2011)
SOLSTAFIR - Fjara by Season of Mist

Henrik Björnsson "Summer Garden" (2008)

Henrik Björnsson (of Singapore Sling & Go-Go Darkness fame)
"Summer Garden"

GusGus "Over" Live @ NASA on 18. June 2011

GusGus Live @ NASA

Song of the 234. Week is Skurken's "Lager fyrir Futuregrapher"

234. Song of the Week is "Lager fyrir Futuregrapher" by Skurken. This is a track from his third solo album "Gilsbakki" with 13 songs.
You can buy the record @ Möller Records (www.mollerrecords.com), @ 12 Tónar (Skólavörðustígur/Harpa) or @ Lucky Records (Hverfisgata).

September 24, 2011

Kaffi, kökur & rokk & ról #3 - Agent Fresco & Mammút

Kaffi, kökur & rokk & ról #3 
Agent Fresco & Mammút
27. September 2011 @ 20:30
Edrúhöllin, Efstaleiti 7, Reykjavík, Iceland
Admission: 500 IKR

"Parliament" by Mundi & Atli

Mundi & Atli

Parliament from Mundi&Atli

Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason "Sólaris" Teaser

Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason
Sneak preview of "Sólaris", to be released on Bedroom Community 7. November 2011.
Ben & Daníel are two composers used to shrugging off the distinction between experimental sound-art and deeply felt melodies. Frost’s vast, blackened post-industrial works often crystallize in moments of quiet beauty before disintegrating in pure visceral noise; Bjarnason’s orchestral music marries brutal modernism to classical aesthetics one moment and soaring ethereal harmonies the next. And yet here, on the tail of two widely acclaimed releases; Bjarnason’s PROCESSIONS (2010) and Frost’s BY THE THROAT (2009) we are given something altogether new. A unique collaboration, SÓLARIS is a quiet, stilled and all consuming symphonic suite at once as affecting and uncanny as the science- fiction classic that inspired it.
The power of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris is not in its futuristic sets, or in the hypnotic shots of the alien planet’s weird, fluid surface, but it’s in the way he juxtaposes his alien, futuristic elements against the intimately familiar. This is a future not just of flashing lights and video screens, but of wood and wool and leather, of dogs and horses, books and photographs. In Frost & Bjarnason’s SÓLARIS we do find the futuristic, gaseous atmospheres and pulses one might expect from a sci-fi soundtrack. Yet here they are carved instead from the warm, fragile sonorities of a string orchestra -Poland’s Sinfonietta Cracovia- a gently prepared piano whose harmonies warp and melt before transforming again—and waves upon waves of guitar.
Created through a unique series of processes, Frost & Bjarnason’s initial sketches —improvised to the film— were fed through software designed to correct music which tried to turn their dense and distorted sonic input into a digital sequence of raw musical data. Working from data riddled with error and misunderstanding, a human score was orchestrated; the whole process deftly mirroring the core of the film’s own narrative of memory and loss, alien doppelgängers and emotional feedback loops. Brian Eno —who consulted closely in the creation of SÓLARIS— also used the same film to create a video accompaniment to this music in another strange loop of computer-generated distortion.
But here the score stands on its own. SÓLARIS; a journey into an internal world, into the self, a flux of wonder, horror, sorrow and tenderness, and a ravishing sensory experience.

Steed Lord "Bed of Needles" Video

Steed Lord
"Bed of Needles" Video directed by Einar "Mega" Egilsson.
Directors of Photography: Einar Egilsson, Edvard Egilsson & Finnur Egilsson
Styling by Kali
Art Direction by Steed Lord
Edited by Einar Egilsson
Color Correction by Einar Egilsson
Produced by Steed Lord
Choreography by Sonya Tayeh
Dancers: Chantel Aguirre, Michelle Dawley
Heba Thorisdottir, Sherri Simmons, Molly Tissavary, Hildur Ársælsdottir, Sóley Ástudóttir, Mandy Artusato, Kali
Volcanic footage from Iceland by Ozzo

Steed Lord - Bed of Needles from Steed Lord

KJARR "Quantum Leap"

KJARR is a new project lead by Kjartan F. Ólafsson, formerly songwriter & producer with acclaimed Icelandic band, Ampop and currenlty keyboard player with Icelandic rockers, Leaves.
The debut album by KJARR is due for release in 2011.

"Árstíðir: You just have to know of me" - The Official Trailer

"Árstíðir: "You just have to know of me"

"Árstíðir: You just have to know of me" is an intimate music documentary film about an icelandic acustic newcomer band formed in Icelands lively and pulsing capital Reykjavík. The sound of Árstíðir is all but the spheric, mystic sound we consider to be icelandic, as music by Björk or Sigur Rós. It is closer to the country, more grounded, melodic and by that still a bit more icelandic, than the band members themselves may admit.
The film portraits six young musicians (Daníel, Gunnar, Hallgrímur, Jón, Karl & Ragnar), each extraordinary talented on their instruments. Their music inhales, breathes and mirrors the contrast of icelandic seasons: The never ending summers, dark and melancholic winter and in between the blood red automn and calm spring. Every emotion is transformed into sound that are so attached to the roots of the band, which name is to be translated as "seasons".
Within the last three years the band, formed in 2008 by Daníel, Gunnar and Ragnar, became one of the biggest insiderés tipp of the Icelandic music scene. Not only have they played small venues in Iceland but also made their debut on bigger stages in Scandinavia and Russia.
Besides the vocal harmonies being a trademark of the band, also the instrumentation of their songs makes Árstíðir special. The warm sound of two acustic and one bariton guitars, a virtousely played piano and two melismatic strings build up the extraordinary sound spectra, underlined by the charismatic voices of the six members. Their music is to be described as "simple but still komplex".
Who has not known Árstíðir yet, will know of them after watching this documentary. You just have to know of them.
Directed by Lilja Häfele. Produced by Henry Páll Wulff & Lilja Häfele.
Árstíðir's Website

September 20, 2011

Reykjavik! in the Spotlight @ IMX

Reykjavik!: Something biblical happened...
Iceland's irreverent rock polymaths Reykjavik have been terrorising audiences (in a good way) since 2004, and are currently preparing their blistering new album for full-scale assault on ears everywhere. With a reputation for working as hard as they party, it is, as guitarist Haukur S Magnusson's Grapevine cohort Birkir Fjalar Viðarsson put it, 'baffling they haven't self-imploded yet.' Icelandmusic.is manages to meet them before they do...
According to your Twitter you’re in the midst of mixing your new album, which sounds ‘like God crying gold tears from heaven’. For those not already acquainted with this no doubt beauteous sound, can you expand a little further on this?
Bóas: This time, we have touched down on divine sounds while collaborating with Birgir of Sundlaugin Studios (our first two records were mostly inspired by Satan and Thor, in equal measures). Something happened during that recording process which might possibly never ever be conveyed through mere use of words (although some combination of the words “God”, “crying”, “gold”, “tears” and “heaven” would place you on the correct path). We’ve never been big on divine interventions, but during these few weeks it is hard to look past the fact that something big has happened, something beyond this realm. For sure! It’s very reminiscent of the magic that happened when Wu Tang constructed their ‘36 chambers’.
Haukur: What? Someone reads Twitter? We signed up to promote our band because we read somewhere that ‘social media’ was the only way to sell records these days, however I hadn’t imagined anyone actually reading that or placing any particular meaning on whatever was written there. This might mean that we should start being more careful with what we say on Twitter.
Anyway, yeah. ‘God crying gold tears from heaven’ is sort of an in-joke of the Icelandic music scene. It’s something some hapless UK music critic or other supposedly remarked in a published review of the second Sigur Rós album (WTF is up with y’alls music press, UK! GO FIX IT ALREADY!). Certainly, something Biblical happened while we were recording our as of yet nameless third LP with Biggi at Sundlaugin (we just finished mixing it and goddamn! So much fun! We are so fortunate to be part of this stöff!).
So yeah, in this case, ‘God crying gold tears from heaven’ is meant to indicate that there are a lot of harmonies on the record. And keyboards. It’ll be out by Airwaves in some form, right? I think that’s the plan. Not sure what it’s called yet though.
- We read your post that in Iceland ‘the softer a band’s music is, the likelier they are to behave like Motley Crue on the road… this is one of the reasons we’ve been trying to mellow down our sound…’ Does this mean we can expect your new release to be something of a departure--and if so are you really getting even madder than usual behind the scenes to balance things up?
Haukur: Not so much a departure. It’s an album that’s made by the same people that made and toured the other two albums. But we maybe spent more time writing the songs on this one, also more of us are singing now. As a collective, we don’t really share a taste in music aside from our mutual affinity for the band Ride (who were really big in Ísafjörður around 1992, when we were growing up (except for our singer, he grew up in a place where no one liked Ride) and Slayer (because, SLAYER!). And we’ve never really had a proper sound system to rehearse with before, so we haven’t really even heard the vocals until it was time to release an album. So this time, we had somewhat of a setup, so we could experiment with stuff like backing vocals and harmonies and stuff.
So it’s like ‘Nowhere’ meets ‘Seasons in the Abyss’. Sort of. Definitely mellower than ‘THE BLOOD’, but we tend to find most earthen things are mellower than ‘THE BLOOD’. That was a goddamn intense record.
So, if the above theory is true, which supposedly delicate flowers of the Icelandic music scene are the wildest, would you say? Like, has Ólöf Arnalds been biting the heads off any small furry animals recently? Has Jónsi been throwing any appliances out of windows? We feel the world should know.
Haukur: We could tell you, but you wouldn’t believe us. Very seriously. Ask any of us to krútt-gossip next time you meet us. Oh, the stories we could tell. 
Back to you: Glacial Landscapes… featured a track called Ted Danson; The Blood paid wild homage to Kate Bush – are you giving the Reykjavik! treatment to any more famous names in the new album?
Haukur: So have you guys noticed something? Anytime after we lionize an entertainer on one of our albums, their careers get going again! Like Ted Danson, he’s suddenly all over the place! Have you seen ‘Bored To Death’? It’s amazing! Same with Kate Bush, we hear she’s doing an album now and everything.
We will keep in with this ritual. A name brand star will be revived to celebrate our new album. Buy it when it’s out to find out who (PS: It’s not Bruce Willis and it is not Carl Lewis).
Being largely from Ísafjörður, land of the wondrous Aldrei, some might ask why you plumped for the name Reykjavik!. Was it an ironic nod towards the fact that the capital pulls so much focus, and that most musicians feel they need to flock South in a bid to ‘make it’?
Bóas: We are all raised in the countryside, and we all fostered mad dreams about eventually going to Reykjavík and maybe even meeting great people like Biggi (of Maus fame), Halli from Botnleðja or Jakob Frímann. To us, Reykjavík was what New York is to people in Reykjavík (or Arkansas). It is also surely the best-named city in the world. Just think about it.
Haukur: Then we got here and it was like: Meh. It’s OK. So we added an exclamation mark, for fun and profit!
How did the band first come together?
Bóas: Now, here we have a long story coming up. Haukur and I, we met at the University of Iceland. Those were some good times, we studied philosophy and soon enough made a connection talking about our favourite books and music. We got to know one another better, and before too long I called Haukur up while on the way to the video-store to pick up some great movie (it was probably ‘Batman Returns’), and asked him if he was willing to start a two-man band. The original idea was to play music in the vein of as Ryan Adams, The Red House Painters and Simon & Garfunkel. We made a few songs as ‘Væmna gengið’ (“The Tender Boys”). But after a few bottles of red and many great nights, we found out that our tender ballads needed to be shouted out, and there was not enough feedback (and almost no reverb!). So we got Gummi, Kristján and later Valdi and Geiri involved. And it all made perfect sense. Eventually.
Haukur: I would like to add this: everyone should start a band. It’s fun. And it keeps you busy. That is all.
There are so many musicians in Iceland now, there seems to be an incredibly rich vein of abundant creativity in the cultural DNA – but what were your reasons behind wanting to form a band?
Ásgeir: For some of us, it was the wild women, while for the others it was the rippin' and the tearin'.
Bóas: To tell you the truth we thought there was a gap in the scene. There was no band around that would let out their emotions; there was the lack of tenderness and fragility. Is that a word? Frailty maybe?
Haukur: Yeah. Goddamnit. All those other bands were so busy looking cool that they forgot to make interesting music. And we thought: we are experts at not looking cool! It’s what we do every goddamn day! So in turn, that must mean our music will be interesting.
(one outta two ain’t bad)
Also, like, why wouldn’t we form a band? Back then, it wasn’t like it is now. If a new band came along, you heard about it immediately and went to check them out. Now, there’s too many damn bands. Those kids and all their bands! Darn that racket. DJÓK. That was a joke. But yeah. Funny question. “Reasons behind wanting to form a band?” Why does anyone? I can only speak for myself (collectively, we did feel like something important and inspiring was missing from the landscape back then and we thought we could contribute), but as for myself, the main reason was this: being in a band looks fun. It sounds fun. I love music and I have been listening to it since I... well since forever. And you know, if something looks and sounds fun, it probably feels fun and IS fun. And I love fun things, so I wanted to be in a band.
Haukur, you are not only the guitarist in Reykjavik! but you are also the editor of the brilliant tourist magazine The Reykjavik Grapevine – how do you manage it all without cloning yourself? Or have you cloned yourself?
Haukur: I have this trick I use when I need to stay up to work or whatever. It is this (follow at your peril): You start off by drinking lots and lots of coffee. All day long. Around 11pm, you switch to beer. Drink beer for around three or four hours (not too many, that will get you drunk), then switch back to coffee. This trick will enable you to do ANYTHING. Also: thanks for saying Grapevine is brilliant! That made me smile!
We’re looking forward to seeing you at Airwaves this year, and you’re known for your high-octane live shows – do you have anything particularly bonkers planned for your festival appearance this year?
Bóas: We are going to try to outstage ourselves, get people to sing along and dance along. If we make that happen, we have accomplished our mission. A few stage-dives and laughs would be a plus. Some of us might even wear new pants.
Haukur: As a ‘gimmick band’, you can rest assured we have some new gimmicks planned. Might don a monkey suit, might pretend it’s someone’s birthday, might take our fancy new pants off. You’ll hafta show up to know up!
Which artists are you especially hoping to catch at Airwaves this year?
Bóas: Oy sounds interesting. Liturgy as well, and of course Sudden Weather Change, Mugison and other friends that always put on their dancing shoes for this weekend.
Haukur: I am looking forward to seeing the following acts: K-X-P, Liturgy, Iceage, John Grant, Björk, Steve Reich, that whole Bedroom Community gang, Adda... wait, wow! There are so many goddamn good bands and artists playing. Expect me to be at every goddamn show, with a special nod to the ‘Geriatric Stage’ where some former glories will be relentlessly relived.
You famously once played 12 gigs in one day – an impressive effort indeed. Any preferably legal tips for touring bands who are finding their stamina is flagging?
Bóas: Just go ahead, there ain’t nothing to it. Just run along and do it!
Ásgeir: Beer, G&T and especially vodka+Red Bull.
Haukur: I think any touring band will tell you that it’s not the actual shows that are gruelling, it’s all the bullshit and travel in-between. So I recommend bringing a lot of books and an iPod. And uh. Drink lots. Drinking is a fun way to pass the time. 
What have been your favourite collaborations as a band – and who do you still dream of working with?
Bóas: Wow, this is such a great question.  It was fantastic working with Árni Plúseinn on the remixes for ‘Dirty Weekend With Reykjavík!’ and it was mad fun doing a summer love song with Mugison, working with Ben Frost was also very radical. It would be the bomb to do a collab with Páll Óskar and it would be fun to do a theme album with Hank Azaria and Sam Amidon.
Haukur: I would like to add that I really liked our stage collaboration with the aforementioned Sam Amidon (his fans still think we’re all huge assholes from running him off the stage... ha ha ha) and also recording with Valgeir Sigurðsson was absolutely lovely and giving. As has recording with Biggi of Sundlaugin been. And Erna Ómarsdóttir and Lazyblood. Did I tell you about that already? We have a dance piece we’re performing with Erna and Lazyblood. It’s called ‘THE TICKLING DEATH MACHINE’ and we premiered it at a performing arts festival in Brussels this last spring (Kunstenfestival Des Arts). That was a crayyyzy show! We’re taking it to France, Australia and Japan next year! Such a fun opportunity! It’s about life and death and the end of the world and whatnot.
Valdimar, tell us more about how the collaboration with Lazyblood came about, and what we can expect from a live show.
It started out as a way to relax after a hard day, then evolved into something with a life of its own. Our live shows are quite theatrical and dynamic, black metal meets pop, and together they go to the opera with candy-floss and blood-sausage, a life saving experience.
Finally, who are you listening to at the moment?
Tyler the creator, Mugison, Brian Eno, Aphex Twin and Arvo Part.
Haukur: I am listening to our own album, which we just finished mixing (as I just said like 2000 words ago!). It’s freakin... great is what it is. Other than that, I am constantly listening to Hüsker Dü, The Lemonheads, Ride, NAS and Steve Reich (if I keep doing that for long enough, something interesting is BOUND to happen). And uh this past year, I think the ‘new’ things I’ve listened to have been, like, that whole Odd Future thing, SALEM (I adore SALEM), Baths (I liked Baths while walking around Copenhagen), The Men. Jay Reatard?... uh? Whatever’s cool to like at the moment I suppose. Fill in your own cool and with it bands if any are missing.
Look, here’s some lines to write them in:
1.    _____________________
2.    _____________________
3.    ______ ___ ___________
4.    ___________________________________________
5.    _ ____ _______ _____
6.    ____________________
7.    Lou Reed and Metallica
8.    ______________________________
9.    _________
10.    ________________
Source: IMX 

Ghostigital feat. Sensational & Nick Zinner "Don't Push Me"

Ghostigital feat. Sensational & Nick Zinner
"Don't Push Me"
Ghostigital - Don't Push Me ft. Sensational + Nick Zinner by ghostigital

Snorri Helgason "River" Video

Snorri Helgason
Directed by Máni M. Sigfússon

Snorri Helgason - River from Máni M. Sigfússon

September 18, 2011

Song of the 233. Week is Two Step Horror "Wray"

233. Song of the Week is "Wray" by Two Step Horror. This is a track from the debut album "Living Room Music".
Two Step Horror is a duo formed by Thordur Grímsson and Anna Margrét Björnsson in November 2008. Most of the songs were written and recorded in the couple's living room during long dark winters and conjure up a dreamy world that's infused with a strange creepy longing and a slow narcotic drawl.
“Straight outta Twin Peaks, like a hypnotic bullet… a bullet of quietly bewitching, creepy lovelines… Or lovely creepiness.”
Two Step Horror are part of Vebeth.

September 17, 2011

Sigur Rós: Festival from "Inni"

Sigur Rós: Festival

Sigur Rós: Festival from Sigur Rós
Website of Sigur Rós
Live album tracklist:
CD 1:
1. Svefn-g-englar
2. Glósóli
3. Ný batterí
4. Fljótavík
5. Vid spilum endalaust
6. Hoppípolla
7. Med blódnasir
8. Inní mér syngur vitleysingur
9. E-Bow
1. Sæglópur
2. Festival
3. Hafsól
4. All Alright
5. Popplagid
6. Lúppulagid
Film tracklist:
1. Ný Batterí
2. Svefn-g-englar
3. Fljótavík
4. Inní mér syngur vitleysingur
5. Sæglópur
6. Festival
7. E-Bow
8. Popplagid
9. Lúppulagid
Film Bonus tracks:
1. Glósóli
2. Við spilum endalaus
3. Hafssól
4. All alright

VAX "Mickey" Video


September 15, 2011

Music Alliance Pact (MAP) # 36 (September 2011)

It's time for the 36th I love Icelandic music/Icelandic Music Maffia contribution to an international initiative, the Music Alliance Pact, aka MAP. I take part in this Blog Alliance since the start in October 2008. On a monthly basis music bloggers from around the globe select a track from their country which is then posted collectively and simultaneously on those blogs - giving each nation's track international exposure.
A trip around the world in 35 songs with a take off in Iceland:
This month I contributed the song
"Hljóma Þú" by Samaris

To download all 35 songs in one file click here
ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Hernán Martínez y Las Estrellas - Revolución En Verano
Hernán Martínez was the man behind Voltura, a magnificent but rather unkown indie-pop band from Buenos Aires's underground music scene (they only recorded two EPs, which are free to download from here and here). Revolución De Verano is Martínez's first solo album, released by Perinola Discos and recorded with his band Las Estrellas. As with previous EPs by Martinez and Voltura, his songs are both catchy and melancholic. Revolución En Verano is the first single from the album.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Royal Headache - Down The Lane
After a couple of years of drip-feeding 7", CD-R and cassette releases, the time has arrived for the release of Royal Headache's debut album. Down The Lane is a great introduction to Royal Headache and shows exactly why people are so excited about them.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
4instrumental - Não Mais
4instrumental is a band whose sound is influenced by the history of Sabará, a city founded 400 years ago, while permeated by that kind of constant search for renewal typical of rock and roll. They're prog rockers, but also funky, jazzy and experimental, as you can hear in Não Mais, from their first EP, released two months ago. The quartet are activists of a way of life that believes culture is a means of social transformation. They travel through the country expanding this idea while making people feel some catharsis with their instrumental music.

CANADA: I(Heart)Music
Zoo Legacy - Shockwave
Is it hip-hop? Rock? R&B? I don't know. What I do know, though, is that Zoo Legacy create music that's a genre-bending mish-mash, and they do it extremely well.

CHILE: Super 45
Fakuta - Aeropuerto
Fakuta is one of the best bets in the current Chilean musical scene. Behind that moniker, architect Pamela Sepúlveda builds introspective synth-pop songs filled with detailed soundscapes and warm textures. Aeropuerto ("Airport") is the second single from her debut album Al Vuelo, available for free at her website.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Siamese Fighting Fish - A Liar Cried Wolf
In early 2011, alternative metal six-piece Siamese Fighting Fish released their grand debut album We Are The Sound, which this site's metalhead, Thomas Brunstrøm, suggested you check out if you'd like to know "what it would sound like if Muse, System Of A Down and Incubus went on stage in a metal club in Sarajevo and tried to out-weird each other. Featuring a guy playing the violin." At the end of August, the gang released epic new single A Liar Cried Wolf, which is a MAP download exclusive.

ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Spotlight Kid - Haunting Me
Twenty years ago, there was grunge, and there was shoegazing, and that was pretty much it for the alternative rock scene. Spotlight Kid wonderfully evoke that era when My Bloody Valentine meant more than the Beatles and the Stones combined, and every young band was in thrall to the sound of MBV's Isn't Anything album and wanted to be signed to Creation - that is, Creation B.O. (Before Oasis), when it was all radiant guitars and ethereal, billowing, androgynous boy/girl harmonies. Spotlight Kid don't come from the Thames Valley like their forebears (they're from Nottingham) but everything else about them screams - or rather, sighs and shimmers - shoegaze.

Taavi Peterson & Üdi - Tibet Ocean
Singer Taavi Peterson got his first taste of fame in 2007 from the first series of the Estonian version of Pop Idol, coming third, but he decided to turn his back on the shiny pop world. The band Üdi ("bone marrow") was formed in 2008 and their plan is to keep their hearts in the 60s but minds in the present day and make helluva good music. Is it possible for one band to change something? That's what they are trying to find out.

The New Tigers - Pocketful Of Sand
From the west coast of Finland, The New Tigers are a guitar-driven pop band that might remind you of Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth or Galaxie 500. On their debut album, The New Tigers show an austere sound straight from the rehearsal room with no unnecessary embellishments. Loud guitars are all over the album and extend the songs with some good jams, but the band never forgets to include a good pop melody.

FRANCE: Yet You're Fired
Pendentif - Riviera
These days you see "pop" in every review you read and, over time, it even had bad connotations, as if it was the simplest music you can create. In fact, we forgot we could be surprised by it, and Pendentif are here to remind us of how great pop is, not by reinventing it, but by offering highly enjoyable pop songs, using the best the genre has to offer. Signed to the same label as previous MAP band Young Michelin, Bulle Sonore Records, they are just as great and sing in French as well.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
Dear Reader - MONKEY (You Can Go Home)
Dear Reader's debut was subtle in a folky way; the second album, Idealistic Animals, continues this promising cachet in a more janiform way. South African Cherilyn Macneil decided after some soul-searching about conscience and religion that she needed a change and now lives in Berlin, continuing Dear Reader as a solo project. Although her lyrics are very intense and profound, the music seems breezy and effortless, which makes a great and lasting combination.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Your Hand In Mine - A Boy And The Birds
Your Hand In Mine present a deeply personal sense of chamber music and an emotive, atmospheric dreamworld through intricate arrangements, waltzing rhythms, fluttering accordions, mandolins, delicate glockenspiels, woozy laments and beautiful, melancholic melodies that conjure a cinematic romanticism. Their second album, The Garden Novels, is a testament to the versatility and adventurousness of their sound, where nine sonic novels, nine small stories told in a fictional garden, are transcribed into warm and intimate musical notes.

ICELAND: Icelandic Music Maffia
Samaris - Hljóma Þú
Samaris consist of singer Jófríður Ákadóttir, computer programmer Þórður Kári Steinþórsson and clarinet player Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir, three students from Reykjavík aged 17-18 who came together in January 2011. The trio plays a mixture of trip-hop, dubstep and downtempo beats. This year they won the Icelandic battle-of-the-bands competition Músíktilraunir. Hljóma Þú is the title track of their first EP.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Jirapah - Crime
Jirapah duo Ken Jenie and Mar Galo are lovers, both Indonesian students who stayed in Brooklyn. But Ken is currently living in Jakarta, partly because of the good reception their music has received in the capital's indie scene, where he has started playing live with several other musicians. Their music can be described as something dreamy, layered and lo-fi.

IRELAND: Nialler9
Alarmist - Giraffe Centre
Intricate melodies intertwine and search for ears in Dublin band Alarmist's Giraffe Centre, taken from their brilliant self-titled five-track EP. Like Tortoise and Battles, this band are all about turbo-charged but beautiful instrumentation.

ITALY: Polaroid
Three In One Gentleman Suit - Green Riots
Pure is the fourth album by Three In One Gentleman Suit, a band that keeps getting better and better. Moving from post-rock and math beginnings, TIOGS developed their own style - a kind of Modest Mouse epicness with more synth and samples, and with an incredibly strong live impact. You can download Pure for free from the band's website.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Miila And The Geeks - New Age
Miila And The Geeks grab familiar elements of rock music and contort them into slightly disturbing shapes. New Age, the title track to their recently released debut, uses simple repetition and jittery drumming to turn what could have been a by-the-numbers garage rock song into a captivating, no-wave-inspired number. Yet it is the saxophone popping up at various moments, seemingly blessed with a mind of its own, which really cements New Age as a fascinating listen.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Hunters Palace - Tal-Metall
Hunters Palace was initially an indie-folk outfit with a tendency to lay on some psychedelic improvisational grooves, but has recently evolved into a power trio playing abrasive free rock. Its core membership has always comprised two people, Peter Sant and Alex Vella Gera, but over the years others have contributed to the band's sound including Adolf Formosa and Vinicius Duarte. The track on offer, Tal-Metall, is a krautrock-ish assault meaning to be a dance anthem.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Juan Cirerol - Corrido Chicalor
Storytelling and improvisation are two qualities rarely seen among musicians nowadays, since abstract compositions and studio over-productions rule the landscape. Enter Juan Cirerol, a twenty-something guitar-yielding cantina troubadour from the desertic Mexico-U.S. frontier city of Mexicali, all-stereotyped with pointy boots, worn-out cowboy shirt and a Johnny Cash square-jawed grin. With a carefree, nomadic take on the music business, Juan is kind of an outlaw riding a black horse into the shy, dusty streets of the Mexican indie scene. Nobody saw him coming and now everybody is talking about this charming youngster. If you feel attracted to this stranger, download his debut from the Vale Vergas Discos site.

NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
houses - Walk Away
This young Amsterdam-based quintet share in an unashamed love of North American indie guitar pop, spending the past decade absorbing the melodies and atmospherics of bands like Death Cab For Cutie, Stars and Broken Social Scene. It's most noticeable in how their guitarist and keyboardist duel over shimmering riffs, while their choruses naturally soar as Ella van der Woude's sweet and airy Feist-esque voice is lifted by the urgency of the rhythm section. Following plenty of local gigging and a self-released EP in 2010 that perked up the ears of local radio, their debut album Clean Life is released on September 19.

NEW ZEALAND: Einstein Music Journal
Jon Lemmon - Exodus I
When asked to make a summery pop song for a compilation, US-born New Zealand-based artist Jon Lemmon set about writing a tune about the end of the world. Exodus I is a lush and enigmatic opus, boasting everything from honky-tonk piano to squelchy synth bass and an incredibly catchy wordless vocal singalong in the chorus. Lemmon shows his breakout potential with this huge song from his forthcoming album that he's aiming to release by the end of October.

NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
Mikhael Paskalev - I Spy
Mikhael Paskalev is an astonishing young talent from deep within the fjords of Norway. He makes joyful folk pop that sometimes resembles Port O'Brien, Slow Club and other indie folk acts, yet also with a certain regard for the old ones, like The Everly Brothers. We can't wait for his debut album due out next year.

Moldes - Trés Malade
Among the noise, psychedelia and experimentation, Moldes, a quartet formed by two boys and two girls in 2008, released their first album in August 2010 to good reviews. Trés Malade is a song that comes from a French poem written by Katia De la Cruz.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Iconoclasts - Stranger In A Strange Land
Iconoclasts first appeared on MAP in 2009 and they keep on rocking. At last, the band's debut album, Mt. Erikson, is released this month. Stranger In A Strange Land shows just why they are one of the most promising acts from Lisbon. Pump up the volume.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
We Singing Colors - There When You Sleep
We Singing Colors is the side project of Andrei Hațegan from indie band The Amsterdams. The boy/girl vocals, the exploration of simple sounds and everyday noise, and the melodic themes approached from a different angle create a very intimate pop atmosphere.

RUSSIA: Big Echo
Synecdoche Montauk - Infinitely Many Primes
Summer is almost gone and now it's time for calm and beautiful melodies, so I guess Infinitely Many Primes suits the weather perfectly. Acoustic guitar, violin and abstract lyrics create a complicated mood that mixes calmness, nervous, sweetness and melancholy. Synecdoche Montauk say their album is nearly finished so hopefully it will be available before the end of the year.

Pearl And The Puppets - Little Diamonds
We join Pearl And The Puppets at a career crossroads, with Katie Sutherland having split from her record label this summer before she had the chance to release a debut album. While the Glasgow-based singer is better known for her radio-pleasing acoustic pop, Little Diamonds takes an altogether more refined approach, with Katie whispering her lyrics over gentle piano notes and subtle string work. The best is yet to come from this lass.

SINGAPORE: I'm Waking Up To...
Hanging Up The Moon - Water Under The Bridge
Hanging Up The Moon is the self-titled debut album and solo project of Sean Lam, best known for fronting Singaporean band Concave Scream. After an extended hiatus, Sean's return to songwriting has been welcomed by many, especially for his minimalist and introspective approach. The songs in this album, which you can pay as you wish for at his website, were birthed in the stillness of the night before dawn breaks. You can just imagine the quiet corner where these carefully-crafted songs were committed to recording, without a squeak or whimper; and when each track is done, only a still air lingering.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
EJ Von Lyrik, Isaac Mutant and Teba - Goldmine (Shockwave Edit)
The sounds of funky Cape Town hip-hop artists EJ Von Lyrik, Isaac Mutant and Teba shine through this month as they combine their talents on Goldmine (Shockwave Edit). Each artist brings their own unique South African feel and musical style which reflects the melting pot that is Cape Town. It's fun, fresh and has a funky feel that is sure to get heads nodding and feet tapping.

Ninesin - Arena
Although competition is tough, Ninesin is one of the best hardcore acts Korea has to offer. Following the remarkable The Death, We Will Face from 2009, their second full-length album comes out this month. Arena is the first track revealed from the self-titled release. It has a shotgun beat and shows Ninesin's characteristic grasp of good melody.

SPAIN: Musikorner
The Suicide Of Western Culture - The Italian Chapel
The Suicide Of Western Culture have become one of the most successful Spanish electronic bands. They have, so far, supported Animal Collective in their last visit to Barcelona and played at the most important festivals in Spain and even in Berlin's Popkomm. With a post-rock soul, as epic and ethereal as Explosions In The Sky but as intimate as Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, they have released an eponymous album filled with their thoughts and emotions; the final result is a highly visceral and passionate record.

SWEDEN: Swedesplease
Vampyramiden - Pyromanens Dotter
Vampyramiden are still serving up strangely appealing Swedish-language indie pop. The band's new EP (which has a fantastic cover) is called Teenage Destiny and I can only guess the lyrics are some sort of combination of teenage angst, wizarding mythology and, of course, vampires.

San Marino - Strangers To Ourselves
Since there's no music blog representing San Marino, we came across a nice substitute in the form of a Swiss band pleading the country's music case. San Marino hail from Zurich and represent not only the small country in the heart of Italy, but do so as well for Switzerland's surf-indie-pop conscience. Their debut album was released in May.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I'm Floating
Much like their Chicago brethren Supreme Cuts and How To Dress Well, THE-DRUM are catalysts for precognitive future-music, hybridizing molasses-slow R&B vocals against shockwaves of percussion and echoing synth melodies. The results are as vibrant and unique as they are compelling, and Omar, released just two weeks ago, is perhaps their best experiment yet.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Los Expresidentes - Te Rodeo En El Rodeo
It is impossible to listen to this band and not think of a film about the Old West and imagine American cowboys on their horses. Los Expresidentes make an interesting, enjoyable fusion of punk rock, country and rockabilly. Their debut album, Lanzados Al Rodeo, has fun lyrics and a really contagious rhythm.

September 13, 2011

September 12, 2011

New Hellvar Album "Stop That Noise" available on Gogoyoko - Release Party @ Hemmi & Valdi on Wednesday 14. September

The 2nd Hellvar Album "Stop that noise" is now available on the Gogoyoko site

Hellvar is celebrating the release of their sophomore album, Stop that noise, with a small party @ Hemmi & Valdi (Laugavegur 21) on Wednesday 14. September 2011. The party will start around 9 pm. Stop That Noise will hit the shelfs the same day. They are going to play the album, say a few jokes and introduce a new member of the band (Hi Haukur). Carlsberg is going to take care of your drinking problem.
Come and be merry...
Hellvar's fanpage