From Iceland — Music News: Ambitious Tours, Reykjavík Jazz Festival, Bjarki Going Strong, Busy FALK & More

Music News: Ambitious Tours, Reykjavík Jazz Festival, Bjarki Going Strong, Busy FALK & More

Published July 24, 2018

Music News: Ambitious Tours, Reykjavík Jazz Festival, Bjarki Going Strong, Busy FALK & More

Three Icelandic acts are embarking on ambitious tours this year. First, mom-folk strummer Axel Flovent is heading out on a European tour in Nov-Dec. Second, with one member fresh from playing on Björk’s ‘Utopia’ tour, Hugar are embarking on a tour of their own from Oct-Dec. Finally, it’s a blockbuster year for metal band Sólstafir, who will support some legends within their scene: first, touring Australia with Enslaved in August, then the United States with Paradise Lost in October, finishing with a European headline tour in December. Find the dates via the bands’ Facebook pages. JR

Reykjavík Jazz Festival has been running since 1990, so, very much like jazz, it’s teetering on middle age whilst still trying its darndest to be hip with the kids —And it’s quite good at it. The festival focus is on modern original jazz, Nordic jazz and the avant-garde, plus events aimed at luring us innocents into their smoke-filled hepcat dens, with programmes for kids and “non-jazzers,” answering the oft-asked question “who will think of the children?” The jazzers, that’s who. We’ll be there, trying to resist their smooth, funky allure. SP

Techno superstar Bjarki is still going from strength to strength. His latest vinyl release comes out the same day as this magazine. Named after a local graffiti artist turned wellness guru, ‘Óli Gumm’ has five tracks that stick to techno minimalism while still maintaining Bjarki’s trademark mischievous turns and twists. He’s also present on TRIP records new compilation, alongside tracks from EXOS, Biogen, Nina Kravitz and a new track from Aphex Twin, under the pseudonym Universal Indicator. SP

Meanwhile in the local scene, the noisy electronic label FALK is having a busy summer, with a string of releases. Crowhurst brings some broody ambient on ‘Black Funeral Atmospheres,’ ERZH drops some maximal acid techno on ‘Death Is A True Prophet,’ Ástvaldur turns up with some paranoid modern IDM tracks on ‘Correlation Attempts,’ and AAIIEENN—the only one of the FALK releases not best described as “a bit angry”—drops something “a bit nerdy and trancy but still house music” on ‘Spaces.’ SP

Teitur Magnússon releases his second album this week on ALDA MUSIC. The album follows up his debut, the universally lauded ‘27.’ Late in August rap-smoothie Birnir drops a solo outing, produced by Young Nazareth, that our sources say will be a big one. The kids are all losing it to ClubDub’s ‘Juice Menu’—a carefree, rather lo-fi dance album from members of elite comedy team 12:00. SP

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