The find of February for us was local band kef LAVÍK. Although they didn’t perform at Sónar, they were there in spirit, as a song they produced and performed on was a part of the Vaginaboys show. They sound like a more gangsta Vaginaboys crossed with a soft and sincere version of Gísli Pálmi, and make wonderfully strange and detached absurdist pop music about love, money, drugs and sex, sung through the voice of a (de)generation: auto-tune. They recently released the ‘Mér líður vel’ (“I Feel Good”) EP on Soundcloud, and it’s a delight from start to finish. The first track, “Ung og Sexý” (“Young and Sexy”), is an infectious meditation on the emptiness of existence that has one of the bleakest openings we’ve heard in a while: “We take a loan before the weekend to afford our drugs/She hates me but likes my friends and I really don’t mind.”
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“Þegar mér líður vel (money lifir alltaf),” which translates as “When I Feel Good (Money Always Lives),” is a downtempo trap banger about cruising through Keflavík with your girlfriend, a machine gun, and a case of beer. The chorus goes: “Us two always evaporate like water drops/We are exactly the same/garbage and gemstones,” bfore ending with a synth drop of epic proportions. The highlight, though, is the quite literally named “We Use Drugs.” It starts with keyboard chords and vocals lamenting a love/hate relationship before the bass and some funky guitars join the mix. Then the chorus slaps you in the face with hard-hitting drums, complex arpeggiated synth lines and the words “When YOU look at me that WAY/I feel SOMETHING. But it doesn’t change that I hate you/WE USE DRUGS!/exactly to forget that fact,” giving the capitalised words that extra auto-tune tweak that sends them over the edge.
The aforementioned Vaginaboys collaboration is also on their Soundcloud, which you should be banging into your internet browser right now. This music is just the right amount of weird and catchy—look out for kef LAVÍK in the near future.
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The Reykjavík electronic shaman Tonik Ensemble, who had a tremendous set at Sónar Reykjavík last month, just remixed the song “Alma M.” from the album ‘Where Are You Now’ by the Genoa-based electronica and post-rock band port-royal. Tonik took the original bright track and made it into a dark, mid-tempo techno masterpiece.
The song was released on ‘You Ware Nowhere’, the remix companion to port-royal‘s critically acclaimed album, that came out last Friday.
Straumur has been active since last summer, with writers Óli Dóri and Davíð Roach documenting the local music scene and helping people discover new music at straum.is. It is associated with the radio show Straumur on X977, which airs every Monday evening at 23:00.