Published July 27, 2017
The rapper Bróðir Big just released his debut LP, ‘Hrátt Hljóð’ (“Raw Sound”), and while there sure is a swelling hip-hop wave in Iceland right now, Bróðir Big sits on shore and watches it. The album is pure 90s golden age hip-hop: chopped sampled beats of the DJ Premier variety and scratched Rakim vocal snippets. Though we are not on the “Hip-hop was way better in the 90s, Auto-Tune is ruining rap” train, a throwback like this is refreshing, especially when it’s executed so well.
Another new rapper is Black Pox, more in line with the current rap wave but still standing out in the scene in that he raps in English, not the mother tongue like most of his contemporaries. Last month he put out the song “ATM” and it has slowly been making the rounds since. With a bit more exposure it’s sure to become a certified banger: the Oriental beat and wobbly bass are tailor-made for the club, and Black Pox is an excellent wordsmith. His dexterous flow and rhythmic stutters remind us quite a bit of a recent Secret Solstice performer: American rapper Big Sean.
Ísar Logi, who makes music under the name Cold, just put out a single on 12-inch vinyl, dubbed “Exiles.” It’s a moody and atmospheric track that dances ballet in the no man’s land between house and techno. The legendary label Thule, which paved the way for the Icelandic dance music revolution of the late 90s and early 00s, is behind the release. “Exiles” sports a repeated sensual female vocal sample, hiccupping bass, and excellent micro-beat programming.
Electronic singer/songwriter einarIndra recently put out the song “Take Me Down,” the first single from his upcoming Möller Records EP ‘Unravel’. It’s a slow jam of sorts, a dark but beautiful piece with squiggly sub bass that ups the ante in a later movement, as the beat goes into drum-and-bass territory before winding down into ambient mode. It’s a gloomy soundscape with shimmering vocals and has quite a bit of James Blake in it, a really good thing in our book.
Nu-psychedelic band Par-Ðar have made a video for the song “Love is Evol,” from their upcoming debut LP ‘Upplifun’, coming in September. Those boys have obviously listened to a Tame Impala track or two—and some King Crimson—but still manage to put their own modern twist on the mind-expanding rock they love so much. The video is number two in a series of four the band is putting out to promoting the new LP; the first one, “Svarti Hrafn” (“Black Raven”) is, like the aforementioned “Love is Evol,” available now on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.