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The tight-knit Reykjavík music scene allows for some serious genre-bending. With their new project Spítali (which simply means “hospital”), longtime friends and collaborators Sindri Már Sigfússon and Halldór Ragnarsson break onto to the dancefloor. The former art school classmates previously worked together as members of the indie-folk outfit Seabear, founded by Sindri in 2003. Since then, Sindri has performed under the Sin Fang moniker and with clandestine r&b supergroup Gangly, whereas Halldór has plied his trade as a visual artist while rocking the clubs as DJ Pilsner on weekends.
Spítali’s first release “You” is a lush instrumental house track, driven by chopped samples and pulsating beats. The track will surely be a summer floorfiller in Reykjavík clubs, but its uplifting soundscape works just as well for the home listener. According to Halldór, it’s a mixture of the partnership’s distinct sensibilities. “We’re different people,” says Halldór. “I think that’s what led to the surprising result of our collaboration.”
Seabear reconvened on stage in March to raise funds for the victims of a devastating case of arson in downtown Reykjavík, which left Halldór and his girlfriend Rós without a home. Local mainstays Mammút, Singapore Sling and Serengeti joined in to perform at the event in a heartwarming show of support. “I won’t deny I shed a few tears that night and performing with Seabear again was an exhilarating feeling,” says Halldór. “It was like reuniting with lost family members. This has been an incredibly difficult period and I wouldn’t have wished this on my worst enemy, but we’re bouncing back. So many good people have provided invaluable help and I want to thank them all. You’re wonderful.”