Published August 17, 2010
‘Dress Up’ is a two-hour compilation from new boutique label Hljóðaklettar meant to commemorate the day of Iceland’s independence from evil Danish furniture designers. Containing music from the leading lights of Iceland’s ambient/electronic/industrial scenes, ‘Dress Up’ also comes with a furry wallet cover for your tape, as well as a Hnakki-style tracksuit jacket, so you may wallow in your nihilist feelings in style.
Starting Side A, you can feel the celluloid influence of horror and sci-fi as Pétur Eyvindsson and Evil Madness work their slow throbbing ‘80s synths, evoking John Harrison’s soundtrack to ‘Day of the Dead.’ Things take a decided turn for the nasty as BJ Nielsen & Stilluppsteypa’s hollowed out ambient storm ‘Big Shadow Montana’ gives way to harsher industrial sounds (and a man crying for five minutes). For example, Dino Felipe’s ‘Exterio’ is REAL industrial music, using machinery to create a sound akin to illegal experiments on human flesh, Tetsuo style.
Side B is changes the mood as the music becomes more electronic and beat driven. Beginning with ‘JarreSchulze,’ BJ Nielsen’s ode to Kraftwerk, there is the crunched, manipulated feedback of Rúnar Magnússon’s ‘Freeze No Extra’, morphing into the dystopian disco of Hunk of a Man’s ‘Captain of Love’. You’re brought down with more harrowing dark ambient from Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson and Jóhann Jóhannsson, before DJ Musician gives everything a final kick up the backside in the end credits.
I would heartily recommend you try and secure a copy of this release if you can (the run is limited to only 35). The numerous styles of electronic processing and noise ensure that if you have any interest in digital music, then there is definitely something here for you.