Secret Solstice is upon us! So, for those of you who want some HOT TIPS on the mass of Icelandic acts playing the festival, we decided to pull together a little guide to our favourite homegrown performers on the lineup.
DJ flugvél og geimskip (pictured above) is our cover star this issue, and with good reason – her eccentric alt-pop sound is unlike anything else you’ll hear. Taking deep space, star systems, psychedelia, nature and the deep ocean as her inspirations, DJ fluvél og geimskip makes a spaced-out cacophony of joyful sounds that leaves people beaming with surprise. Good festival vibez all round.
Berndsen is another real one off. If you want to see an Icelandic guy with a huge red beard and a loved-up look on his face crooning to super catchy 80s disco-pop, you have come to right festival, my friend. For what it’s worth, when the writer found out he was playing, it was the catalyst for a last-minute ticket scramble. Berndsen fucking rules.
DJ Margeir is Iceland’s best known DJ. He’s become a household name in Iceland for such noteworthy stunts as crowdsurfing across the Blue Lagoon (for which he provides soft-focus house soundtrack CDs that you can buy after your soak). His sound is slick house music all the way, and he’s a master of his craft.
FM Belfast are a party band that never fails. From the raw ingredients of minimal backing and three very different and equally charismatic singers, they create a carnival atmosphere that’s a joy to behold. Get your dancing shoes on and get to the front.
GusGus have been going for almost 20 years now, but they are a band that gets better and better with age. From hazy trip-hop beginnings, they have evolved into one of the best techno troupes in the business. Daniel Ágúst is a free-wheeling lightning-rod of a frontman, and Högni Egilsson brings an authoritative presence and a resonant voice to the table.
Reykjavíkurdætur are a sprawling collective of female rappers that are on the cutting edge of Iceland’s feminist zeitgeist. The twenty-strong band are a heavily politicised unit with boundless energy, creating a spectacle unlike anything else on the lineup. Check it out!
Lord Pusswhip is a 20 year old producer and rapper who makes a chopped-up mixture of electronic sounds with a rough, punk edge. He lists his influences as “horror films, females and drugged out VHS nostalgia.” He’s an unpredictable performer who’s definitely worth a look.
Samaris are signed to One Little Indian, the label that brought Björk’s music to the world. It’s easy to see what attracted them – Jófríður Ákadóttir´s voice is breathy and hypnotic, and when it intertwines with the Áslaug Magnúsdóttir’s rich clarinet and the echoing, mellow backing tracks, it’s an intoxicating sound.
Gisli Palmi is the young prince of the Icelandic rap scene. His backing tracks would sound fresh anywhere in the world, not just in Iceland – check out his first album for the proof. The release party at Gamla Bíó was one of the parties of the year – Gísli a natural performer, with an energy level that never lets up. Don’t miss it.
Emmsjé Gauti has a more retro rap sound, playing with a rock backing group and a live DJ. But don’t let the setup fool you – he is one of the most energetic and capable rappers on the Icelandic hip-hop scene. Earlier this year he stole the show at Aldrei for ég Suður up in Ísafjörður, and he might well do so again.
Here’s the schedule – click through to see it up close.
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