Nicky Digital Captures The Chaos of Iceland Airwaves

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Nicholas Rhodes, aka Nicky Digital, is a party photographer, it-boy and moustache role-model based in New York City. You may…

The Absolutely, Unquestionably, Very Best Of Airwaves 2013!

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We did it again (oops). We did it again. It was a tough one, what with the one hundred thousand…

Sykur: Being Insane Is A Good Thing!

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The lead singer of Sykur, Agnes Björt Andradóttir, is clearly mental. But in a good way.

A Note On Replication And Adaptation

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Apparently there has been some controversy — and some misunderstanding — regarding my recent comment about certain Icelandic bands and…

Reykjavík Grapevine’s Podcast: Airwaves Monday Edition

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Poof! Five days packed with music, party and Grapevine Airwaves Podcast is now over. What a blast! As we say…

Icelandic Soul Is Life Of The Party

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The decision to spend the last night of Airwaves at Gamli Gaukurinn was one of the better ones I made…

Surf Gaze Tutu Metal

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Amsterdam, Sunday, the final night. Passable pub, can’t complain but for the 2k ISK double Jameson. Suggestion: use that money…

Samaris: The White Swan Performance

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For many, Iceland Airwaves is about discovering new and exciting bands and being surprised with performances. My Airwaves experience usually…

Those Magnificent Men in Their Kraftwerk Machine – Harpa Eldborg

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It’s been over 40 years since they released their first album, and even the oldest songs haven’t aged much. Not many bands can say that about their catalogue, especially in the electronic genre.

Saturday Night Live

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SÓLEY At first glance, one would not think Sóley is a very tough person. For her set at Gamla Bíó…

A Downer Crowd, Icelandic Bro-Hop And Synth Driven Lolita Fantasies

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The evening started quietly at Hressingarskálinn on Saturday evening, not a lot of commotion going on as venue opener Jara took the stage….

A Walk On The Mild Side

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Just off Laugavegur behind some tall red doors lies Gamla Bíó, a grand seated theatre with a high balcony circle…

The Big Sleep At Harpa Kaldalón

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Kira Kira, an experimental noise band fronted by Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir, opened up Harpa Kaldalón with a song I imagine…

Different Flavours Of Electronic

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VÖK Vök is a young band, formed only earlier this year. Already within that short time they’ve managed to win…

Too Much Polish, Not Enough Passion – Iðnó pt. 2

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No, you don’t need hand gestures to accompany each vocal flourish, and no, you don’t need to tell the crowd to move closer to the stage (pet peeve of mine, that one). And you might want to consider spitting your gum out before you take the stage.

Very Solid! – Iðnó pt. 1

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It was an early start at Iðnó on Saturday. The band Vigri went on stage just after seven o’clock and…

Jon Hopkins Destroyed My Face

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An unedited conversation about the bands I saw last night, which ended up being a ridiculous amount of fun. Not…

“Oh, and FOKK YOU MATTI!!!!!” – Amsterdam Pt. 2

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IN THE COMPANY OF MEN As I arrive at Amsterdam to do the second part of the METAL NIGHT FROM…

Icelandic Metal Is Alive And Well – Amsterdam Pt. 1

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Trust The Lies is a young, upcoming metalcore band. They are obviously well rehearsed for the occasion, with all melodic…

This Was Special For Mykki Blanco

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One of the most notable shows of Airwaves 2013 was about to begin, featuring Nolo, Ghostigital, Mykki Blanco, Gold Panda,…

“…Then The Bass Came In” – Harlem Pt. 2

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Venue impressions: very hand painted, intimate feel. Feels like a lot of DIY loft venues I’ve been to in NY,…

Like Sticking Your Head In Warm Ambient Goo – Harlem Pt. 1

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ARNI² Fresh from their blistering set last night (where they apparently played nowt but banging hardcore techno), Árni Grétar and…

Reykjavík Grapevine’s Podcast: Airwaves Sunday Edition

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Wohoo! It is Sunday! We made it! Almost. Your audio-loving friends, the omniscient Grapevine Airwaves Podcast Team, has been rolling…

The Norðurljós Is Thoroughly Rocked

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APPARAT ORGAN QUARTET Several times during their show, someone in the Apparat Organ Quartet told the crowd, “Apparat loves you!”…

Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp – Hressó pt. 2

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Sure, I’ve seen this band play a hundred times before in countless dive bars and various shitholes across the United States, but this is the spirit of Rock and Roll and Dimma are living it. Hard and fast.

A Night Filled With Promise – Gamli Gaukurinn pt. 1

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Gamli gaukurinn is a bar with a small stage in one corner. It is in no way perfect, but with…

The Inexhaustible Indie Venue – Iðnó pt.1

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The former half of Iðnó’s Friday line-up was interesting. The night started promptly at eight with a set from Jóhann Kristinsson….

An Amazing Evening

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You know how dogs sometimes spend so long with their owners that they start to resemble one another? John Grant and Iceland have a similar relationship going on. If there’s ever been a more convincing impression of a Reykjavik native done by a man from Colorado, I want to see it. And, I also want to see John Grant again

Iceland’s Dance Music Scene Is Awesome: Amsterdam Pt. 2

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Good Moon Deer have a tough slot. They’re charged with enlivening the purgatorial atmosphere of Amsterdam, with the city alive…

Harlem Hypnosis – Harlem Pt. 2

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It’s getting really late. It’s not late by Reykjavík standards, but it is considering how early everything started this evening. Half the room looks lobotomized, and I’m not sure they know where they are. But at least they know they’re having a great time.

Beats, Unnecessary Rhymes And Nightlife – Harlem Part 1

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Something about him and his singing style reminded me of Bon Iver – a Bon Raver, if you will. Though his music was created entirely with electronics, M-Band’s sound was warm and one could almost imagine him writing it in the confines of a small cabin in the woods. Kanye, give this dude a call next time you want to collaborate with an indie artist.

‘What’s Wrong With Your Eyes?’ And Other Delights Heard At Gamla Bíó

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At Gamla Bíó’s seated concert hall, we show our enthusiasm for a band by gently wobbling in our chairs. Tilbury’s…

Transient Architecture & Songs From The Fringe

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So let this be your soundtrack to the after-party. As I began this review I was not entirely sure how to put it all together and to be honest, I am not sure that I entirely do now. Yet somehow this night all worked amazingly well. Shifting transient sonic architecture and ping ponging around the fringe, every artist featured truly made this a memorable, unique and exciting night. Even Kanye got a little love, right?

Night At The Museum

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I don’t believe you can underestimate the importance of fun in a live show. It’s probably a cliché but if performers look like they’re having fun, there’s no doubt it rubs off on those around. Of course it takes more than this to create an enjoyable show, however for Retro Stefson, it is a very key ingredient.

Reykjavík Grapevine’s Podcast: Airwaves Saturday Edition

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You have survived Iceland Airwaves Friday and are looking for something to listen to while you rest up for another…

“It’s a Party, You Know?” A Night At Þjóðleikhúskjallarinn

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If you play your cards right, on a Friday night during Iceland Airwaves, there are a myriad of fun situations…

Getting Fucked Up Is A Beautiful Experience

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Apparently Björk went to see Omar Souleyman instead. She made the wrong choice.

múm And The Ghost In The Machine

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The drums play a key role in múm: they can be organic and primordial, they can resemble the clanking, steam-driven machinery of the Industrial Age, and they can recall the Digital Age, with busy, precise and intricate patterns that suggest some sort of synthesis of man and machine, the kind we all know is coming, sooner or later. Yeah, his drumming is that profound.

Damian From Fucked Up: ICELAND IS MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN CANADA, HYPE = TRUE

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Sorry guys, our browser doesn’t support video uploads from phones. Odd to send you to a page like that. There…

Icelandic Hiphop Exists!

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Cell 7 is adept at the braggadocio expected of rappers these days, but also demonstrates lyrical depth: “I represent to the fullest, I’m a feminist.” As far as the Icelandic acts of the night went, I am pleased to say she was head and shoulders above the rest of the lot, both in terms of musical content and performance.

When the SF Embassy Met Jón Gnarr

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Much has been said about the, shall we say, creative style of politics as pioneered by Iceland’s mayor Jón Gnarr…

Northern Music, Northern Lights

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It’s only my second day at Airwaves and already I have some solid advice. Icelanders: do not attempt to replicate the music of the African diaspora, especially reggae and hip-hop. You will fail. Miserably and laughably. Be yourselves. That is the way to make the best music.

Haunted Halloween and the True Spirit of the North

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The atmosphere, the intimacy and the haunting elements of Anna’s voice invoked The North, in capital letters, icy landscapes, Nordic crime drama, isolation, winter depression and all the clichéic notions you probably already have for this part of the world. It is the sort of music that would have scored Nosferatu, if it were made today.

Ólafur Arnalds Draws Tears At Harpa Eldborg

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The house lights are on in the modern, volcanic red heart of Iceland. Smoke, as though suspended from ethereal fly lines, dissipates over the audience more slowly than the aurora tinting the night sky. It is Airwaves 2013, and one of Iceland’s rising stars will soon take Harpa’s epic Eldborg stage in front of a packed, international crowd. And his parents.

Harlem Shakes

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Building from fizzling feedback, you can feel ThizOne growing in front of your eyes; quite literally it would appear, as an associate is close at hand providing mutually kaleidoscopic visuals.

“Hey Jimmay, Gonnae Gie It 27 Geetars????” – Hressó Brings On The Drone, Twang And Strum Of The Six String Beast…

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When I arrived  at Hressó, the look of the places was slightly ominous and unwelcoming if I’m being honest. There…

Music You Can Sit To

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As the set continues Hausswolff and her band prove themselves masters of texture, which ranges from ominous, to somber, and finally hopeful. They’re not in a hurry to get there though. They know a journey is in the traveling, not the destination. I have chills.

The Choppy Line-Up

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Although I deeply respect and understand the urge to push boundaries, there is always an audience to consider. Doing something is not the same as pulling it off.

Genre Explosion At The Art Museum

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Dub reggae outfit Ojba Rasta are one of the evening’s more interesting – and fun – surprises. While they’re ostensibly pushing a sound that will always struggle for relevance in the bigger picture of contemporary music, that’s hardly the point here. The indulgent noodlings of dub are mostly avoided by the ten piece band, along with the other usual cliches.