From Iceland — Music News: Skálmöld, GusGus And A New Label

Music News: Skálmöld, GusGus And A New Label

Music News: Skálmöld, GusGus And A New Label

Published April 9, 2021

Valur Grettisson

It’s finally here! The official biography no Viking saw coming about the legendary Icelandic metal band Skálmöld. And by Mímír’s head, we are going to read this until it evaporates. Surprisingly, the book also reveals that our dear president, the sensitive boy scout Guðni Th. Jóhannesson is a keen metal fan. How do we know that? He wrote the foreword in the book, which was as a whole written by the British author Joel McIver.

The biography features interviews with all the members of Skálmöld as well as other prolific characters from the Icelandic metal scene. You’ll also find a list of every gig Skálmöld has ever played, their songs translated into poetically faithful English, and tons of behind-the-scenes photos. What more could we ask for? Well, perhaps some mead while we listen. And perhaps some mistletoe to kill that perfect bastard of a god Baldur. But that’s it. We promise.

GusGus is always at it like an active volcano constantly threatening a new fissure (and then two more) when least expected—not that we know anything about it. They will be dropping a new album at the end of May, and have preempted that fated release with a slew of fantastic videos made by Arni & Kinski—who were actually part of the GusGus collective in the 90s. These include “Stay The Ride”, “Higher”, and “Our World”. “Higher”, featuring the fantastic Margrét Rán from VÖK, is a particular favourite here, and was a honourable mention for Best Music Video at the 2021 Grapevine Music Awards. So expect solid house music. Expect fire. Expect nothing less than 1,200 degrees.

A new label is up and running in Iceland, called Vax and their first two efforts are, to put it finely, very promising. Their first release was ‘Dysjar’ by the doom-jazz combo Dalalæða, and the second, ‘Music Library 02’ by cinematic instrumental duo Hvörf, which dropped at the end of March. The vibe brings one’s memory back to a “little known” label called Mo’ Wax—you know, the first label that DJ Shadow appeared on in the 90s. Maybe we’re just nostalgic, but this is one label that we’re excited to see more of and one all local music fans should pay attention to.

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