Back To The Futuregrapher! - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Back To The Futuregrapher!

Back To The Futuregrapher!

Published October 14, 2011

In the far out world of Futuregrapher, Ringo Starr is your best friend to get hammered with…

In the far out world of Futuregrapher, Ringo Starr is your best friend to get hammered with…

If you’ve come to Airwaves to hear electronic music and party hard, then you seriously need to add Futuregrapher to your list. The nom de plume of Mr. Árni Gretar, he makes music that tends to defy easy categorisation. One minute he’s laying you gently down into a pool soothing ambient ooze, the next he’s blasting your ears off with jumpin’, pumpin’ drum and bass.

And 2011 has been a busy year for him, with the creation of his own record label Möeller records, and a new EP ‘Tom Tom Bike’. So we decided to have a chat with him and let him tell us his thoughts. What could possibly go wrong?

‘It’s going to be fucking hardcore and it’s going to be so good that I will bleed – just to show you. No joke!’

Hi There Futuregrapher! Tell us a little bit about yourself. For example, who are you and what do you get up to in your daily lives. Remember, no detail is too small or banal… 
Hello Grapevine! My name is Árni Grétar, best known under the pseudonym Futuregrapher. I’m an electronic musician and co-founder of Möller Records. I’m also a father and a ginger boy (I’m the Icelandic ginger dealer).

We won’t hold that against you. Now won’t have you pin yourself down in a genre, but maybe you can tell us what musicians you hope your fans also like. What music inspires you?  
Good music inspires me. When I’m at home I listen to a lot of jazz records, like Grover Washington Jr., Miles, Mezzoforte, Herbie and Steely Dan. But when I’m in Futuregrapher mode, I listen to a lot of ambient records (Eno, Orb, Ash Ra Tempel, Jafet) and old school jungle (everything from Good Looking Records etc.). But if my fans like the music of Luke Vibert and think Keith Flint is sexy, then I’m sure they will like Futuregrapher.

You’re known to give ‘The Full Workout’ when you perform, jumping on tables, being very energetic and whatnot. Do you think that most DJ’s are too lazy behind their laptops and need to interact more with the crowd? Maybe you should set up a DJ training camp or something… 
Most DJs are just too drunk or too sexy (love you Margeir), so jumping on tables isn’t an option for them. But I’m not a DJ – I’m playing my own music. But I like this idea of setting up a DJ training camp, since all the money would go to the DJ’s in Iceland (electronic artists don’t get a penny).

Now you’ve already mentioned Möller Records that you’ve recently set up with fellow artist Skurken (Jóhann Ómarsson).  What was the driving force behind you setting up the label? And how has progress been so far? 
It’s been a crazy ride since we started this label in January and people are already jumping tables to try to get us to sign them. We’ve released three albums from Prince Valium, Steve Sampling and Skurken and couple of EPs. And we’re already selling a lot more than we even could imagine in the beginning. We wanted to start a label around the music that was happening around us – getting the vibe out for the people, so there would be something available. It’s looking good! 

You’ve also released an excellent new EP, ‘Tom Tom Bike’ that contains some very trippy sounds indeed. Can you tell us more about how you made them? Were you standing in the rain for hours on end with a tape recorder? 
Those recordings are very personal. It’s something that just happened after I was feeling a bit vulnerable and lonely. ‘Ringo Is High’ is the oldest track. It’s about Viðey and the freedom there, the open space and Ringo (yes, from the Beatles) being super fucking high.

The recording of the rain is from a friend in Sweden (you can hear real thunder) and I just started playing these mellow chords over it. The track ‘Dagur’ is me – how I feel, while the track ‘Memory Valíum’ was written when I woke up after having this intense dream about my friend, Prince Valíum.

You’re part of the infamous Weirdcore electronic music collective. Earlier this year it suffered a massive blow with the death of founding member Biogen, but you’ve recently come back with a gig at Bakkus. What’s the current state of play with the collective? Will there be some new compilations on the horizon?  RIP, brother. I will always love you, Biogen. Thanks. Tanya Pollock (of PLX) called me the other day and asked if I wanted to play at her birthday and she wanted it to be a big Weirdcore party, where she would celebrate and where Bix would have his ‘Animalog’ album party. I said yes, of course. This party was mega!

I don’t know what Tanya is going to do about Weirdcore – but she’ll definitely have it every year on the 17th of September (which is great). I can however mention that there will be free compilations coming from Möller Records which will have the title Möllerdiskó (more info soon).

Nice one! Now what would you want to tell our readers, to convince them to come to your show (remember: the more outlandish your claim the more punters you are likely to get)?   People don’t want to miss Futuregrapher at Airwaves as I will have, for the first time, a live band including the young boys from Bypass (and that guy from Samarís) and Marlon Pollock (PLX) will be MC’ing.

For all Non-Icelandic festival goers, what Icelandic acts do people needs to look out for? Are there any hidden gems in the dirt that need to be discovered?
I recommend for all my fellow countrymen to take their head out of Hjaltalín’s ass and go check out the electronic scene. Don’t live your life in a straight line (do it gay, be free) – expand your mind, take a look outside of the box and understand that my dear friend Krummi in Mínus is as good electronic musician as he is singing the blues. That’s a fact. So do check out the opening night at Faktorý on Wednesday and our night on Thursday.

What’s your favourite type of cheese?
I’m a basic kinda guy and I just love the sandwich cheese slices. Skólaóstur I think it’s called. Oh brother, I have spent so many countless nights listening to AFX and just “getting another slice, man”. Wild life.

Make a five track playlist for Festival goers to listen to while they are here in Iceland during Airwaves. Tell us why each track is there. Your scenario: You’re getting your Party face on as you’re about to head out to Airwaves on a Saturday night…  
1. Berndsen & Bubbi – Úlfur Úlfur   2. Forgotten Lores – Dansaðu  3. Krummi – Broken Clock.   4. Steve Sampling – The Optimist
5. Bix – Ylfa’s song

Futuregrapher plays Thursday 23:40 at Faktorý main venue.
Links – www.futuregrapher.com

By Bob Cluness

 

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