Published February 15, 2017
Once the darkest and dullest month on the Icelandic calendar for music and culture, February was forever transformed in 2013 with the arrival of Sónar Reykjavík, that annual shining beacon of modern sonic delight. The festival will take place in Harpa for the fifth time February 16-18, and the final acts have just been announced.
BEA1991 is the new stage name of the Dutch musician formerly known as BEA, who is playing SónarComplex. She makes groovy, hazy electronica that’s smooth as silk. Also playing that stage is her countryman Kai Hugo, aka Palmbomen. He’s a producer who makes dreamy electro with Italo disco basslines. We highly recommend both those artists. In other Sónar news, the members of Moderat will take part in an exclusive Q&A session ahead of Friday’s live performances and their own show at SónarClub.
Two of the artist performing at Sónar, Sindri Már Sigfússon of Sin Fang and Seabear fame and the múm member Örvar Smárason, have teamed up with Morr Music labelmate Sóley for a new electro-indie super project. Though not an official “band,” and currently without a name, the group have committed themselves to releasing one song together every month over the next year. All the songs will then be compiled and released as an album after twelve months. The first song dropped last week, and it bears the impenetrable title “TODAY: Random Haiku Generator.” But don’t let the artsy title scare you, because the song is at its core a bittersweet and beautiful power ballad, though with the experimental electronic edge the people behind it are known for. Each of the three singular voices manages to shine through, and the song is like an artfully woven sonic carpet.
With the whole record business in disarray and everything up in the air when it comes to releasing and distributing music, it’s nice to see Icelandic artists experimenting with the form in such a playful way. We now have at least one thing to look forward every month, and for that we are thankful to Sindri Már, Örvar and Sóley.