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Making Of An Artist: Árni Grétar Jóhannesson. AKA Futuregrapher

Making Of An Artist: Árni Grétar Jóhannesson. AKA Futuregrapher

Alice Demurtas
Words by

Published July 17, 2017

Árni Grétar, or Futuregrapher, is a well known electronic musician in Iceland. He has released numerous albums, and taken part in countless collaborations, for example with Jón Ólafsson, Japanese artist Hidekazu Imashige, and Borko. Our favorite remix these days is his reworking of “Sometimes I’m Wrong” by einarIndra.

Biogen

Sigurbjörn Þorgrímsson, aka Biogen, was my friend and mentor. He’s the reason my pseudonym Futuregrapher was successful. He released my first album in 2009 and he and Tanya Pollock helped me getting into the Weirdcore scene. I looked up to Biogen when I was younger, so being his friend in his last years on this planet was one of my best times in life, and I’m very thankful for his friendship and what he did for me. Today he’s alive in the world of music—Nina Kraviz just released his album ‘Halogen Continues’, and more will be released soon.

A Guy Called Gerald

Gerald Simpson is one of the most influential artists in the world for me. He has produced and released everything in electronic: acid, house, techno, jungle, DnB and ambient. He taught me that an artist should not be focused in one genre, but just write and produce how they feel at the moment. I followed that path, since I feel my albums are all very different. Check out his albums ‘Black Secret Technology’ (1995) and ‘Hot Lemonade’ ( 1989). So good.

Aphex Twin

Richard D. James is probably seen as the “God” in world electronic music, and with good reason. He is the Beethoven of our times—the mighty composer. All his releases have been in my life for so long, and taught me a lot. His music helped me through bad times, and made good times better. His style is dirty yet beautiful, with some nice grittiness. His label Rephlex is my favorite label. All their releases are out of this world.

Autechre

Another Warp Records artist, alongside Aphex. Autechre are two blokes who try something new with every release. Their sound is so beyond and so sci-fi that it touches you and makes you travel from the sofa. “Sófatrans” (“sofa trance”) and “Heiladans” (“braindance”) are great terms for Autechre. From their first album to their last, I will always follow them around. They are specialists in making music in Max for Live and are pure software today, still sounding more phat and more exploring than any other band out there.

Björk

When I talk about influence in the world of music I always have to mention Björk. She has managed to stay creative and super good writing music for decades. I have so much respect for her. She was in the Sugercubes, made music with Megas (my mom’s favorite artist, who I also love), made music with 808 State—an old love of mine—and many of my favorite artists have remixed her. Listen to her album ‘Debut’ and then to some of her last albums. What an inspiration! And her voice is like no other. She is one of the best music explorers in the world and as a live performer she is one of the best.

Liam Howlett (The Prodigy)

This man changed my life when I was a teenager. My older brother owned the ‘Experience’ album and it changed my life forever. I would go into his room and listen to it on repeat. What a game changer! I loved, and still love, The Prodigy’s first three albums; I still listen to them today. His style of playing is so good and his use of samples are incredible. People sometimes think about The Prodigy and think about them as a great live band (which they are indeed), but as a musician if you listen to their music, which is produced by Liam alone, you hear what a great talent he is. Like I say, his style of sampling is something people don’t tend to focus on, because it’s so well done. ‘Experience’ is filled with reggae and ska samples and the ‘Jilted’ album has samples from all over the place. So well done and so well produced. Not to mention that his first albums were sequenced on a Roland W-30 sampling workstation. Madness.

In my top 10 there are also The Orb, Brian Eno, Pete Namlook and Carl Craig. Long live the music!


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