From Iceland — Sensory Overload: The Delicious Cacophony Of Susan_creamcheese

Sensory Overload: The Delicious Cacophony Of Susan_creamcheese

Sensory Overload: The Delicious Cacophony Of Susan_creamcheese

Published March 16, 2021

Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Provided by Susan_creamcheese

Enter the fantasy: You’re on a weirdly positive bath salts trip. It’s the peak of the party and the noise of the dance floor begins to envelop your soul, drowning out the pumping of blood through your pounding eardrums. You can’t breathe. You can’t speak. In fact, you have absolutely no idea what the upcoming seconds hold. You might be having a heart attack. But, as the sweat pools on your brow, you—for the first time in your life—are totally in the moment and totally, deliriously, out of control. And what’s playing as you willingly enter the void? Susan_creamcheese.

Buckle up

Susan_creamcheese is the solo project of Vilhjálmur Yngvi Hjálmarsson, who recently dropped two albums with the post-dreifing collective entitled ‘common house buggy’ and ‘glupsk 2’ (a collaboration with Örlygur Steinar Arnalds and Guðmundur Ari Arnalds). His creations distil every type of electronic music you can imagine—and some you can’t—down to a kaleidoscopic melange of cacophony. Even Nostradamus himself couldn’t anticipate where Vilhjálmur’s songs end up—they’re that enchantingly erratic. So, dear readers, when you check out his work, here’s some advice: Buckle up. It’s going to be a weird ride.

Sonic ADHD

Susan_creamcheese—the name—is a reference to Vilhjálmur’s teenage Frank Zappa phase. “On one of his albums, there’s an interlude. It’s a skit where he’s making fun of hippies. Then the interviewer, played by Frank Zappa, talks to this girl and she says, ‘My name is Suzy Creamcheese’ and the name just kind of stuck with me.”

“I’m not perfect in production, but that’s what I like about making my music. It’s very naive.”

The Suzy Creamcheese lore runs deep. Admittedly, it’s an internet rabbit hole you could easily spend hours in, but basically, Suzy Creamcheese was (allegedly) a moniker given to various women who were sort of hype guys for Frank Zappa. Their job was to get the party going and keep it high. It’s therefore an apt reference for Vilhjálmur’s music—which really would shine brightest at the deepest, darkest, late-night parties.

Vilhjálmur describes his music as “ADHD.” “It’s very much attention deficit disorder,” he says, quite calmly. “I never have any concrete ideas for songs. I just start doing something. Sometimes I have plans that I’m going to make something more approachable or more pop, but then it just always goes in some really weird direction. It doesn’t really turn out exactly that way because of ADHD. It just goes somewhere else.”

Susan_creamcheese

Provided by Susan_creamcheese.

1,934 views

To approach this ether, he often utilises found clips. “I sample a lot from the internet: YouTube videos, Instagram stories, TikToks,” he explains. “I’ll also very often go out for walks and record sounds in the environment. Then I add, you know, 99 jumps and make a snare to give it a beat. I really like to plant all of this together so it’s not too ‘bleep-bloop’. I find a middle ground, but I’m not perfect in production, but that’s what I like about making my music. It’s very naive.”

For example, a sample from his song “Vindharpa 4” came from a YouTube video he found on a deep-dive. “It’s this old man speaking in a foreign language. He seems to be ranting, but he, or someone, put a vocoder on his voice,” Vilhjálmur says. He fails to mention that the man is wearing a tinfoil hat, which seems to make it all the more absurd. At the time of writing, the video has 1,934 views—that’s how deep of a dive Vilhjálmur takes to find his inspirations.

‘common house buggy’ is a collection of songs Vilhjálmur has made over the last two years, but that said, he urges listeners not to hold their breath for another solo release soon. “I have songs that I’m working on but you release stuff when you’re totally ready,” he admits. He takes his time with things, he explains, reworking and remixing songs endlessly until the moment is right. “I don’t like pressuring myself to be creative,” he concludes.

But if these two albums tell us anything—it’s that Vilhjálmur doesn’t need to pressure himself to find creativity. No, he’s already got delicious sonic cacophony running through his cream cheese veins.

Check out Susan_creamcheese on all streaming platforms or at the post-dreifing Bandcamp

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