“Electronic music is in my DNA”, co-founder of Extreme Chill Festival, Pan Thorarensen, says when asked about the annual electronic music event, which will be celebrating its 8th anniversary for the first time in Reykjavík between July 6 – July 9. After growing up in an environment permeated by electronic music, and being a musician himself, creating this festival came naturally. “One thing led to another and boom, here we are!”
The festival, which was previously held in the Icelandic countryside, gathers together a broad range of skilled an “extremely chill” artists. This years line up presents international acts like Mixmaster Morris and Courtesy and local groups such as Jónas Sen, Jón Ólafsson & Futuregrapher and Gyða Valtýsdóttir. The festival promises to be a baffling trip into an electronic space of dreamy soundscapes, improvisational and experimental acts, techno, down tempo and of course some surprises along the way. “People can expect the unexpected, so be prepared”, says Pan.
One thing is certain though, whether you’re into being extreme or chill, there’s something for every taste. Saturday presents one of the biggest acts of the festival, The Orb, and Pan ardently vows a good party. But if you’re in the mood for something more low-key, but still mind blowing, the award-winning and highly praised documentary about the pioneers of house music, ‘Lunar Orbit’, screens on Friday.
One factor that is an important contribution to Extreme Chill’s ambient atmosphere is its vivid visuals. Using Icelandic nature as inspiration, Pan along with established artist Guðmann Þór Bjargmundsson, which he refers to as “the main guy these days”, creates the festival’s signature graphics. If you don’t know Guðmann’s work by name, he’s for instance been involved with the HBO show Game Of Thrones, so you know it’ll be spectacular.
“My idea about the visuals of the festival is the idea of taking nature inside with you. For example, capturing the movement of the ocean and then screening it on stage. We’re also recording a lot of nature sounds.” Pan says. “It’s like creating an universe.”