From Iceland — Iceland's Most Ambitious Mixer DJ Árni Kristjánsson Is Back To Boogie

Iceland’s Most Ambitious Mixer DJ Árni Kristjánsson Is Back To Boogie

Published October 15, 2020

Iceland’s Most Ambitious Mixer DJ Árni Kristjánsson Is Back To Boogie
Photo by
Varvara Lozenko

On Saturday, October 17th, Reykjavik based DJ Árni Kristjánsson will release a brand new mixtape, ‘Boogie Mixx 11’. The recording is the latest in a series of mixes that he initiated in 2008. Árni, a DJ and record collector of many years, has put together these mixes to showcase the cream of the crop he uncovered during digs into the record crates of Reykjavik and Tokyo.

It all started in 2006 when Árni discovered 80s funk music after picking up an album by D-Train at the Góði Hirðirinn thrift store. “Once my collection was underway, I made a mix from my best of the bunch to impress other record collectors on this web forum, Soul Strut. At that time the forum was where a lot of respected collectors and dealers gathered. Thankfully the mix got good reviews so I kept making them,” Árni explains.

Considerable work goes into each mix, and as a result they are delivered up to a year apart. “If I had to guess I’d say I listen to something like 1,500 to 2,000 records to select the records for each mix. That’s going through boxes and boxes of records, or more recently, scanning 1000+ item auctions from major record sellers on eBay,” he says. “The records range anywhere from major label releases to private press. A private press is a record the artists themselves put out in a handful of copies as promos.”

Once the records have been selected and imported to Iceland, Árni mixes the tracks together and prepares the cover art. “The most fun I have during the process is when I tinker with the track order and at what point in the songs I cut to the next track, which makes the whole thing click.” Boogie Mixx 11 is focused on the mid-80s, particularly the drum machine and synth-heavy side of soul music of the era. “All of these songs have a simplicity to them which I find really charming, while at the same time being very soulful and electronic,” he says.

When asked whether releasing a mix like this has any place in a world where Spotify has pretty much replaced the DJ, Árni maintains that now is actually the perfect time to release it. “Out of all the songs, only two are currently on Spotify and they have fewer than 10,000 plays each—even though they are 30 years old. DJs showcase good music, regardless of how many times it’s been played. Spotify, however, favours music that gets more plays. Services such as Spotify can be great but there is so much great music out there hiding in the nooks and crannies of record stores,” Árni explains. And much of the old genre stuff that is popular on Spotify was discovered (or rediscovered) and popularised by DJs.

Árni will celebrate the release of Boogie Mixx 11 by premiering it on radio show Funkþátturinn on Oct 15 at 23:00 GMT/Iceland time on X-ið, FM97.7. The station can be livestreamed here. The mix will be made available to stream online on record forum Soul Strut’s SoundCloud on Saturday, Oct 17th, and also through Árni’s website.

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