ATP Iceland is three this year, and we at Grapevine couldn’t be happier to see this discerning festival putting down some roots over in Keflavík. After memorable performances from previous headliners Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Portishead, ATP Iceland has shown it can bring the best out of its star turns; 2015 sees a quadruple-pronged attack from the varied talents of Public Enemy, Iggy Pop, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Belle & Sebastian, amongst a raft of emerging leftfield artists.
But hey, those guys, great as they are, have been written about all over the world. So, for the festival goers flooding into Iceland (many for the first time) we thought it might be more useful to highlight some of the local talents that’ll be joining them on the bill. Get ready to make some rings in your mental or actual schedule: here are our HOT TIPS for the ATP Iceland 2015.
This young rock ‘n’ roll band have two frontmen, with highly entertaining chemistry. One is a bearded poet with a gruff roar of a voice, and the other is a gurning high-energy lightning rod of a performer who’ll be giving Iggy Pop a run for his money on the Ásbrú stage. Their songs are short, catchy, riotous barrages of punk energy, and while their lyrics are exclusively in Icelandic, they’re capable of charming any audience into their sweaty palms. Don’t miss them!
Reykjavík shoegaze darlings Oyama share two members with Grísalappalísa, but their sound is altogether different. They play brooding indie-rock with a deep sense of unease running through it, singing of alienation and intimacy with an enticing lightness of touch.
In sharp contrast come Ghostigital, featuring former Sugarcubes vocalist Einar Örn and Björk collaborator Curver Thoroddsen. The two make an anarchic racket, featuring Curver’s mind-bending electronic squiggles and Einar’s impassioned, surreal ranting. The beats are fracture and frayed, and the music seems to pour out in all directions in once, electrifying the audience into joyous laughter, total confusion, or both.
It seems that prolific Icelandic composer Ólafur Árnalds rarely puts a foot wrong. After winning a BAFTA for his contemporary classical TV soundtrack work, he explores a different side of himself in Kiasmos – a minimal techno collaboration with Faroese musician Janus Rasmussen. The two create an atmospheric, simmering sound, the mechanical rhythms brought to life with lush string arrangements and skittering piano melodies. When they play live, Kiasmos are capable of finding gears even they didn’t know they had, so take your earplugs for the crescendo.
5. Kippi Kaninus
Kippi Kaninus are an electronica big-band. Whilst that made-up genre might seem like a contradiction, trust us, it’s a thing. Based around the subtle compositions of Guðmundur Vignir Karlsson, the all-star band are driven along by drummer duo Sigtryggur Baldursson (another former Sugarcube) and Magnús Trygvason Eliassen, a talented percussionist also seen in Tilbury and Borko, amongst many others. Kippi Kaninus create a mellow atmosphere, full of quiet magic for those who listen carefully.
New kids on the block Rythmatik recently won the Icelandic national battle-of-the-bands, and they’ve been busy playing shows and lapping up some hard-won media attention ever since. The music belies their tender age: it’s an enjoyable notch-potch of influences, from pop-punk to screamo to jangly indie-rock and anthemic MOR. If you’re yet to see them, they’re sure to give their all at a big show like this.
Festival Schedule & Practical Stuff
For those travelling from Reykjavík to the festival site, there’s an hourly coach service running from the BSÍ bus terminal, with return coaches running till 5am.
THURSDAY 2ND JULY
Run the Jewels 1:30am – 2:30am
Belle & Sebastian 11:45pm – 1:00am
Iggy Pop 10:00pm – 11:15pm
Public Enemy 8:15pm – 9:30pm
The Bug 6:45pm – 7:30pm
Deafheaven 5:20pm – 6:20pm
Chelsea Wolfe 3:55pm – 4:55pm
Stafrænn Hákon 2:45pm – 3:30pm
Mr Silla 12:45am – 1:30am
Vision Fortune 11:15pm – 12:15am
Kippi Kaninus 9:45pm – 10:30pm
Grísalappalísa 8:15pm – 9:00pm
Tall Firs 6:45pm – 7:30pm
THE OFFICERS CLUB
DJ Styrmir Dansson 12:00am – 2.30am
ATP DJ’s 2.30am – 4:30am
FRIDAY 3RD JULY
The Field 2:30am – 3:30am
Godspeed You! Black Emperor 11:30pm – 2:00am
Drive Like Jehu 9:45pm – 10:45pm
Mudhoney 8:15pm – 9:15pm
Clipping. 7:00pm – 7:45pm
Iceage 5:45pm – 6:30pm
Bardo Pond 4:30pm – 5:15pm
White Hills 3:15pm – 4:00pm
Oyama 2:00pm – 2:45pm
ANDREWS THEATRE – CURATED BY BEDROOM COMMUNITY
Daniel Bjarnason 11:15pm – 12:15am
Valgeir Sigurdsson with Liam Byrne 9:30pm – 10:30pm
JFDR 8:30pm – 9:00pm
Ceasetone (Unsigned Talent Comp Winner) 6:45pm – 7:30pm
THE OFFICERS CLUB
DJ John Brainlove 12:00am – 2.30am
ATP & Younghusband DJ’s 2.30am – 4:30am
SATURDAY 4TH JULY
Kiasmos 1:30am – 2:45am
Ghostigital 12:00am – 1:00am
Swans 9:00pm – 11:30pm
Lightning Bolt 5:45pm – 6:45pm
HAM 4:30pm – 5:15pm
Ought 3:15pm – 4:00pm
Younghusband 2:00pm – 2:45pm
ANDREWS THEATRE – CURATED BY RÁS 2 RADIO
Rythmatik 11:15pm – 12:15am
Valdimar 9:45pm – 10:30pm
Pink Street Boys 8:15pm – 9:15pm
Xylouris White 6:45pm – 7:30pm
Börn 5:15pm – 6:00pm
Caterpillarmen 4:00pm – 4:45pm
THE OFFICERS CLUB
DJ Óli Dóri 12:00am – 2.30am
DJ Barry Hogan 2.30am – 4:30am
Tickets are still available: get yours here.