Straum.is has been active since last summer, with writers Óli Dóri and Davíð Roach documenting the local music scene and helping people discover the best new music. It is associated with the radio show Straumur on X977, which airs every Monday evening at 23:00.
Words by Óli Dóri & Davíð Roach
These four dandily clad organ players plus drummer mix Kraftwerk with classic rock and sometimes even metal. Their live shows are a unique breed of mannered hard rock, robotic precision and calculated aesthetics. And although they rarely perform live they still have a dedicated fan base and their own dance routine.
Catch them on Friday, November 1, 22:30 at Harpa’s Norðurljós Hall.
Grísalappalísa are the Icelandic neu-new wave pranksters stirring up a melting pot of post punk, krautrock and irreverent funk with two vocalists whose approach is somewhere between David Byrne’s neurotic yelps and Nick Cave’s angry growls of his earlier years. Their debut album, ‘Ali,’ is one of the best to come out of Iceland this year and their live show is a testosterone-fuelled frenzy of fuzzed out proportions.
Catch them on Wednesday, October 30, 20:00 at the Reykjavík Art Museum and Friday, November 1, 21:40 pm at Gamli Gaukurinn.
Formerly a two-piece band, Nóló recently added a drummer to the mix, which adds to the drum machine that they use and gives their performance the extra kick it needed. Since their formation in 2009, they have been dishing out lo-fi pop gems left and right.
Catch them on Wednesday, October 30, 23:20 at Harlem
or Saturday, November 2, 20:00 at the Reykjavík Art Museum.
The legendary electronic glitch band múm came out with one of our favourite Icelandic album of the year, ‘Smilewound,’ last month after a four-year hiatus. After their performance at the All Tomorrow’s Parties in June it’s clear that múm is one of Reykjavík’s best live bands.
Catch them on Friday, November 1, 20:00 at Fríkirkjan.
Prins Póló started as a solo project by Svavar Pétur Eysteinsson of Skakkamanage but has transformed into one of Iceland’s most energetic live bands. Armed with tunes that mix humorous storytelling and perfect pop sensibility, Prins Póló is a must-see.
Catch them on Thursday, October 31, 21:20 at Harpa’s Silfurberg Hall.
5 Must-See Visiting Bands
This electronic music duo from London released their debut album ‘Body Music’ in July and finished second in the BBC Sound of 2013 poll. AlunaGeorge are strongly influenced by ’90s R&B that they mix with experimental electronic beats. The duo hit the number two spot in the UK early this year, featuring on Disclosure’s song “White Noise.”
Catch them on Saturday, November 2 00:20 at Harpa’s Silfurberg Hall.
Goat is a Swedish collective that claims to hail from the remote village of Korpolombolo, which has a century long history of voodoo worship and witchcraft. Their debut album, ‘World Music,’ released last year combined tribal chants and fuzzed out guitars, the rhythms of afrobeat and the spirit and textures of psychadelica. They perform in gipsy garb and masks, so it should be one hell of a ritual.
Catch them on Friday, November 1, 23:30 at Harpa’s Norðurljós Hall.
Hopkins is a British producer and musician whose electronic soundscapes walk the tightrope between techno and ambient. On the album ‘Immunity,’ one of the better ones to come out this year, he merges analogue electronics, acoustic pianos, digital trickery and found sounds into a cohesive whole brimming with emotion and dramatic flair.
Catch him on Sunday, November 3, 00:10 at Harpa’s Silfurberg Hall.
We cheat by cramming both of those highly influential but very different bands into one slot since neither needs an introduction, yet one can’t make a must-see list without them. Kraftwerk are the electronic Beatles, masters of rigidly high-concept synthesized pop and their live show is an audio-visual orgy in 3-D. Yo La Tengo are one of the most influential indie bands to come out of the American ‘80s underground with a highly diverse catalogue and a reputation for amazing live shows. These bands are the golden oldies of the festival, but neither one should be missed.
Kraftwerk: Sunday, November 3, 20:00 at Harpa’s Eldborg Hall. Note: You have to get tickets by 16:00 on Friday, at Harpa.
Yo La Tengo: Thursday, October 31, 23:30 Harpa’s Silfurberg Hall.
The Montreal-based musician Mac Demarco is the antithesis to your middle of the road singer/songwriter. Formerly recording as Makeout Videotape, he has produced two fantastic solo albums, ‘Rock and Roll Nightclub’ and ‘2.’ DeMarco’s live shows can involve nudity and lewd acts! Reykjavík you have been warned!
Catch them on Saturday, November 2, 21:00 at Harpa’s Silfurberg Hall.