For each issue, we at Grapevine spend a lot of time gathering and filtering all of the best gigs and DJ sets you can see during the weeks ahead for our Happening page. We thought it might be a good idea to delve into Reykjavík’s DJ scene in a bit more detail, and give you the chance to hear them at work. So, here it is: Reykjavík Grapevine’s DJ of the Issue. We’re starting with an exclusive mix from a well-known face about town, and one half of the DJ duo it is magic: Bervit.
When did you start DJing?
I got interested in playing music for others quite early. As a child I made mixtapes and was elected to be in charge of music at school balls. I got my first DJ gig at Faktorý on Smiðjustígur (R.I.P.) with my friend Logi Leó—we DJed together as “it is magic.” Bervit was born sometime last year.
What styles do you play?
My taste for electronic music grew a lot after I spent a year studying in the Netherlands and experiencing the clubbing scene there, as well as in Germany. Techno and its history fascinates me the most, and that is what I like to play. Ambient music and some types of bass music are also close to my heart.
What’s your favourite Reykjavík venue to play?
Paloma is my favorite venue to play dance music. People that go there are generally open-minded and interested in hearing something different. I go there a lot myself. Stofan, the café, is a great place to play more relaxed and ambient stuff. The mood of that place is definitely set by the music being played.
Those two are a bit different—do you prefer playing for a party crowd, or a sitting crowd?
I enjoy playing for crowds that like music for its beauty and ability to evoke a range of emotions. It’s up to them how they position their bodies while listening.
Do you like to use decks, or laptop, effects or extra gear?
I’m interested in mixing digital and analogue gear—whatever feels right and sounds good. I’m looking to add turntables to my setup at the moment. I think it’s important to know how to use most of the available equipment out there.
What are your five essential tracks of the moment?
1. ”Camargue” by CJ Bolland is full of life and a good example of Belgian techno that was released a year after I was born.
2. ”I Cry (Night After Night)” by Egyptian Lover is an emotional yet funny track by this American musician which interestingly mixes elements of hip-hop and European electronic music.
3. My girlfriend played “Mr Dry” by Tim Green for me once and now I can’t get its subdued vocal and wonky sound out of my head.
4. When the Danish DJ Courtesy played “Papua New Guinea” by Future Sound Of London during this year’s Sónar festival I was reminded how amazing this classic is.
5. The Nina Kraviz song “Best Friend,” as well as DVS1’s remixes of it, is detailed, laid-back and honest techno which I like a lot right now.