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ANTLEW AND MAXIMUM: Predecessors of Icelandic Hip-Hop

ANTLEW AND MAXIMUM: Predecessors of Icelandic Hip-Hop

Published December 3, 2004

Before Hæsta Hendin, before XXX Rottweilarhundar, even before Quarashi, there was an Icelandic kid living in Sweden who heard hip-hop for the first time and inadvertently became the predecessor of them all.

Having become a producer by the age of 12, Maximum returned to Iceland and joined forces with Brooklyn-born Antlew to form his own hip-hop outfit in 1997. Although largely unknown to the rest of the country until 1999, their music would become the inspiration for nearly every hip-hop act that followed them.

Antlew and Maximum write songs in English, saying that “Icelandic doesn’t flow too good, but when it’s good, it’s good. Forgotten Lores is a good example.” The songs themselves, they say, are trying to reach into something outside of the typical subject matter of most Icelandic hip-hop material.

“Most of the time you hear something like, ‘Your mama’s fat’ or some other stupid insults,” says Maximum. “We’re trying to do something a bit more meaningful.” Antlew agrees and adds, “We want to produce something that would touch someone’s soul. Not that we don’t do funny songs; we do. We’re not trying to be like teachers or something. We just want to make good music.”
While working on numerous side projects with other musicians in Iceland, Sweden and England both inside and outside of hip-hop, Maximum and Antlew are still focussed on trying to change the Icelandic hip-hop scene for the better.

“The radio DJs play stuff like ‘All I wanna do is hit the pussy’ because their listeners are 15 or younger,” says Antlew, who for a time ran his own hip-hop program on Icelandic radio but was dismissed because the show was entirely in English. “But I think these same kids would like our material. For example, we have a song called ‘Ég Skil,’ which is about how a ghetto is a ghetto no matter where you come from. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about Brooklyn or Reykjavík; there are always going to be these beat-down neighbourhoods.”

Apart from the approach to hip-hop that the duo is taking (and the thankful inclusion of a lyric sheet), they also want to be sure that the hip hop scene in Iceland doesn’t mimic the US.

“Clubs in the US used to play music passed between artists and listeners,” says Antlew, “but today they just play radio stuff. Clubs in Iceland are starting to head in that direction. If Icelandic clubs start ignoring good musicians who don’t get radio play, what then?”



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Carry Me, Mark Kozelek

Carry Me, Mark Kozelek

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Sun Kil Moon, the notorious North Korean dictator, ordered the execution of a series of puffins by firing squad as an apparent snub to a cooling of Iceland-DPRK relations, reports KCNA. “They don’t belong on our plates”, said the DPRK’s Taskforce on the Creation of Food Abundance, apparently caught unawares by a certain irony. Just kidding. Sun Kil Moon, real name Mark Kozelek, is playing Reykjavík this Friday. He has been in my memory since 2004, when my mother took my brother and I with her decades of savings to Greece on a family outing. At Paris – Charles De

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HOLY SHIT DOOMRIDERS ARE IN TOWN!

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Hey guess what! Doomriders are back in town! And they’re playing Húrra tonight! This seminal metal band tore our faces off and shook our guts to the core when they burned down Grand Rokk eight years ago (with the help of I Adapt). That show certainly left a mark on a lot of people in Iceland’s metal scene (much like the 2004 Iðnó appearance by Doomriders’ stalwart Nate Newton’s other band, the mighty Converge), so much that noted hater Bogi Bjarnason is even excited for the show. This is what he told us: To wrap your weekend up on a high note,

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GY!BE, Deafheaven, Mudhoney AND MORE For ATP 2015

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While some of you have barely gotten over Airwaves, the news just keep rolling in for next year’s SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVALS! So, imagine you’re at All Tomorrow’s Parties , the  sun is beaming down on your face as you close your eyes and hug your friends, laughing jovially at how lovely life is, while your ears are being made love to by Canadian post rock LEGENDS: Godspeed You! Black Emperor. YEAH! They will be joined by (drum roll please): Belle and Sebastian Run The Jewels Mudhoney Deafheaven Iceage Loop Chelsea Wolfe The Field White Hills Ghostigital Vision Fortune Younghusband Tall Firs

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Carcass Announced For Eistnaflug 2015

Carcass Announced For Eistnaflug 2015

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Metal pioneers Carcass and heavy metal stalwarts Kvelertak were added today to Iceland’s annual Eistnaflug metal festival’s lineup. The festival is held each year in Neskaupsstaður, but announced that it’s upping its ante this year, inhabiting a bigger venue and with more tickets available. Carcass originated in Liverpool, England and have been playing since 1985 and are considered by many the founders of grindcore, as well as being credited with influencing the melodic death metal movement. Last year they released their sixth studio album, ‘Surgical Steel,’ which is their first in seventeen years. The complete lineup for Eistnaflug is as follows: Agent Fresco (IS)

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Markéta Irglová Plays in Harpa Concert Hall tonight

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Academy Award winning musician Markéta Irglová will play at Harpa concert hall tonight as part the final step of her two-month tour around Europe and North America. Markéta first came to prominence as a seventeen year old in the Irish feature film ‘Once.’ The film ended up claiming the 2006 Academy Award for Best Original Song and Marketa subsequently toured for years with her co-star Glen Hansard under the banner of “The Swell Season”. In more recent times Iceland has become Markéta’s adopted home, and her new album ‘Remember’ was entirely written here. “I came to Iceland for the first time with

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Welcome To The New Year

Welcome To The New Year

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By the time this issue hits the streets, we will be halfway through the fourteenth edition of the Iceland Arwaves festival. At the day of publication, Friday November 7, Straumur will be hosting an off-venue show at the independent cinema Bíó Paradís, where Vorhees, Sin Fang and Unknown Mortal Orchestra will perform (in that order!) from 16:15-19:00. Later that same day, we will also be hosting an official Airwaves show at Gaukurinn (starting at 20:00) where, among others, Oyama, Strigaskór Nr. 42, Black Bananas and Fufanu will grace the stage. The off-venue in Bíó Paradís continues throughout the weekend during

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