Elvar Smári Júlíusson made a splash two years ago with his debut album ‘Ljóstillífun’, released under his artist name Án. Here, the electro enthusiast tells us his favourite tracks of all time. It’s a playlist full of lyrical strikes and warm humanity.
Rival Consoles – Pattern of the North
I think songwriting in electronic music is an under-appreciated skill and Rival Consoles certainly has it. This song in particular has such warmth and humanity. It’s expressive. It’s emotional. These are not words that I can use to describe much electronic music, but I really want to. It’s a very difficult thing to achieve. His work inspires me a lot.
Nick Mulvey – Fever to the Form
I heard this song for the first time this summer after listening to an interview where Nick and producer Dan Carey discuss the process of creating his debut album. It was love at first listen kind of deal. There are some really cool production tricks in this one, the Moog-y synth bass comes as an unexpected twist; the drummer is going absolutely crazy, but the drum sound is very small and dry; some spooky Mellotron strings; reverse cymbals. Great stuff. And I weirdly relate to bringing fever to a form.
K.óla – Nýir Draumar
I debated if I should just make every single track on this list a song from ‘Allt verður alltílæ’ but I’ll let “Nýir Draumar” do. I am so impressed with this album. I mean, I expected the album to be good, but not this freaking good.
This song almost feels like a house track (someone do a remix please). I like the blend of LoFi and HiFi elements, how the chorus kind of washes over you and having the lyrics in Icelandic brings so much honesty. I am officially calling on The Reykjavík Grapevine to give this album all the awards at the end of the year.
Steve Reich – Music for 18 musicians (ECM Recording)
I have such strong love for this piece of music. In the summer of 2018, I had a week where I remember doing very little apart from listening to this piece and eating camembert. I really want to add a 4 to the floor kick to this and dance to it.
Low – Quorum
What a gut punch this is. Beauty and ugliness in equal parts. I don’t want to over-conceptualize it, but this album makes me think of the chaos of social media, politics and the climate crisis.
Jai Paul – Str8 Outta Mumbai
Real hits only. Jai Paul feels like If Prince had Ableton and zero recording budget. It’s hard not to think about the drama surrounding this album, the leak and the 6 years of silence from Jai Paul following it. I admire his decision of just releasing it in the raw unfinished form the world first heard it in. And I feel like the rawness is exactly what makes it great, from the bedroom quality of the vocal recordings to the really strange cut-out silences and obscene amount of bass.
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