From Iceland — Dance Dance Resolution

Dance Dance Resolution

Published October 16, 2011

Dance Dance Resolution

Saturday was my night to cut a rug. I resolved to do so while drinking… heavily, but responsibly!

20:00 Tonik

Understandably, these boys had a tall order to fill – first group of the night, playing to a crowd of about fifty apparently jaded people. As folks poured in, their minimal techno crept quietly into the room. There’s not much to say about their live performance, because it literally was just two nerdy looking guys standing on stage, one on the computer and the other with a bass. Sure, they did a bit of rocking back and forth, admirably pounding the sampler keys and bass fretboard, but I’m always on the lookout for that one rogue programmer who decides to spend the evening browsing internet porn or playing Tetris instead of giving those oscillators and bypass switches hell. Wanking is more fun that way. After the show, I talked to the guys, and they seemed really decent. I honestly didn’t have much to ask, because their music didn’t really inspire me to do so. Then again, is it also their fault if the crowd act like fucking zombies waiting to be baited out and shot to death with diamond-tipped silver bullets?

21:00 Ghostigital

The best electronic group I’ve ever seen. They threw everything but the kitchen sink into this performance and everything worked wonders. I’ve never said this: they sound like no one else. That’s right, 100% original. Not even Throbbing Gristle can touch these big swinging dicks. The spastic, cutting gestureshouts of Einar Örn Benediktsson skullfucked and lobotomised the IV dripping, docile crowd. If Ian Curtis were alive today, he would have taken notes on this crazy fuck. When I last took notice of Ghostigital, I was 19 and living in New Jersey. I missed their disrespectfully under-attended concert in Hoboken, and hugely regretted it. After their performance, I can remember why. These guys do something that no other group can: make the raucous shit smear of quickly cobbled together techno-garbage genre sound like the best music ever played. With a guitar player, it is utter perfection. This electrivolitile psychojazz, this testament to fuzzy warble spinning could have driven Malcolm McDowell insane all over again. Einar told me after the show that he thought Ghositigital were the best. He was right, they are. If you don’t like them, you genuinely are an imbecile. You can’t understand them. Hail Ghostigital, the best band for ever-ever.

22:00 Captain Fufanu

Hard to characterise Captain Fufanu as anything in particular, because they had so many technical difficulties and false starts to disregard. This group is an offshoot of Ghostigital, with some of the same band members in both groups. Unlike Ghost, these guys are far more traditionally dance oriented. They generally stick to 4/4 beats and the tried and tested techno form. It didn’t catch my ear in the same way that their previous group did. They produced a sound that reminded me of what you would hear at a fashion show without the sight of lavishly dressed womenfolk. I give them credit for doing their own thing in the shadow of Ghostigital.

23:00 KGB Soundsystem

With much more of a dreamy, ethereal quality to them (I’m tired of using those words!) from the little I heard after trying to track down Ghostigital for an interview, KGB played quite well. Featuring a lovely female singer and special guest freestyling rap artist, like all other groups after 21:00 they got people moving, shaking, and hooking up. Rightfully so – it’s dignified electronic minimalism, and people seemed generally pleased. I suppose I was, too.

00:00 James Murphy (US)

When I moved to Iceland, I didn’t know much about LCD Soundsystem, never mind James Murphy. The former frontman of that band gave a good performance. His sound was influenced by disco, soul and pop music. There was a great dynamic to his choice of sounds, and tasteful samples. People were enthused. People were very happy to be in the room with him. He was a fair person to speak to about things. He maintained a party atmosphere. I am under no duress writing this review. There isn’t a Kalashnikov pointed at my head ensuring that I follow the party line on what to say about this performance…

Honestly, at one moment I was dancing and having fun, and the next had me fending off this feeling of people treating him like a music monarch. I could detail ad nauseam how the experience left me feeling, but I would be doing the event an enormous disservice. Plus, I wouldn’t want to spend a whole afternoon vomiting from both pleasure and pain.

02:00 Margeir AKA Jack Schidt

It was the final act, Margeir AKA Jack Schidt that finally me got on the dancefloor. Sufficiently droning and tribalistic, the guy knew how to make people awkwardly search for take home sex partners with class. The music fused what seemed almost like world music with modern rhythms, and it worked really well. I thought he could have consumed thirty more minutes and still come out on top.


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