Iceland’s most soulful electro artist, Einarindra recently made a serious splash at the 2019 Iceland Airwaves festival. While we’ve been busy streaming Einarindra on Spotify (you should, too) we asked him to create a playlist of his favourite Icelandic music, and he delivered everything from the first Icelandic Trip Hop experiments to Underworld’s remixes of Björk herself.
Magnús Blöndal Jóhannsson – Samstirni
Magnús Blöndal was a pioneer of Icelandic electronic music and “Samstirni” (Constellation), from 1960, is such an interesting composition with beautiful sounds that he recorded and edited on tape. It’s good to be reminded of the old ways of making electronic music where you had to spend hours editing one loop by cutting physical tape.
Subterranean – My style is phreaky
From the age of 10 through 16 I listened mostly to hip hop, and when I first heard Subterranean it was like a bomb had gone off in the Icelandic hip hop scene. They were young and fresh, with really well thought out lyrics, and they were skilled rappers. Still, 20 years later, I think they are one of the best hip hop acts of Iceland.
GusGus – Polyesterday
This track was a breakout for me. I was working with my father in Þórshöfn when I was 15 and after a hard day at work, I was lying in bed listening to the radio when I first heard it. It had this hip hop feeling but it wasn’t hip hop; still, I really loved it! Gu Gus helped me break out of my hip hop bubble and into trip-hop. I followed them up with Massive Attack, Portishead and similar bands.
Björk – Human Behaviour (Underworld Mix)
I was a massive Underworld fan after seeing Trainspotting and somehow I managed to get this remix of Björk’́s songs called“The best mixes from the album Debu: (For all the people that don’t buy white labels”. This track was the first on the CD and I started listening to everything with Björk after that.
Sigur Rós – Leit að lífi (Recycled by Sigur Rós)
I think this is the first track I heard with Sigur Rós and I think it was on the radio (though that seems unlikely) and somehow I connect it also with me walking by Reykjavíkurtjörn. It has an Amen break for drums and that mixed with the bass and vocals really got me and hasn’t let go since.
Múm – I’m 9 today
When the kids (they will always referenced as kids) in Múm released “Yesterday was dramatic,”I was in high school and already listening to a lot of electronic music like Aphex Twin, Autechre and the likes, so I was ecstatic when I heard this new electronic glitchy Icelandic band. I remember skipping class with my friend and listening to the album in the school’́s cafeteria.
Worm is green – Automagic
I had started listening to a lot of glitchy electronic music from Germany and Russia when Automagic dropped. This band had really well programmed drums and beautiful synth melodies. HStreaming had not yet begun, so I always bought all my albums on CD.
Jónsi and Alex – Indian Summer
During those years I ran a cooperative cafe/art space in downtown Reykjavík with my friends where Alex and Jónsi were daily visitors. At the same time, or around 2009, when we were being forced out by the house owner (who wanted to build a large shopping mall in the area), I met them and got this album which I think is one of the best albums released. It was something completely new but old at the same time, it’s these beautiful soundscapes unbound by time.
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