Photos by Hvalreki and Hörður Sveinsson
Moshi Moshi Records is a London-based indie label, which is responsible for releases of Bloc Party and Florence & The Machine, to name a few.
The “only skweee artist originating from Iceland” starts out with bass-heavy minimal beats, metallic and oscillating synths that could probably make you shit your pants if they reached a certain frequency. At first, the drums sounded a bit dry, like beating on an empty Pringles can. This was later resolved when the music slowed down and started to have a more psychedelic bias, but there was a moment of confusion when it went back to the original sound, thin and way too repetitive. Even still, Rabbi Bananas just wore a baseball cap with a huge Star of David on it.
Worm Is Green
By then, a lot of people had arrived to see Worm Is Green. They start out with distant keyboard sounds and later roll into bleak electro pop. Worm Is Green still fail to introduce the desolate sound they‘re known for. It‘s like sad music for sad people, without the balls that characterize these dark trip-hop bands; with a frigid front woman that after a single look at her, one immediately thinks “she will most definitely not fuck you.“
Lo-fi stuff to make your brain rust with analogue humidity. Granted, Nolo perhaps sound better in the studio which is often the case with lo-fi bands because the whole genre, of course, stems from said band‘s recording techniques. On wax, lo-fi bands have the quality of tape cassettes found in stuffy attics, whereas they might sound sloppy on stage. I‘m not sure whether this is the case with Nolo but nevertheless, it‘s cool to see such young cats keeping the analogue spirit alive.
This East-London band start playing their punked the fuck out electroclash and immediately catch the crowd‘s attention. Makes you think of Atari Teenage Riot or a non-rigid, angrier Flying Lizards but the trio of drummer, laptop musician and a lead singer that will perhaps not fuck you, though everyone in the room surely wants to, regardless of gender. The vibe is brightened, people start getting gradually drunker and are suddenly more susceptible to dancing; it‘ll undoubtedly be fun to hear more from these kids.
Toro Y Moi
Toro Y Moi is the artist moniker of Chaz Bundick, who plays bitter sweet and sunny tunes that could be a soundtrack to a lazy Sunday in his native South Carolina. Accompanied by funky bass slaps and drums that twine with the echoing vocals, at parts it sounds like dreamy pop, at other times it sounds like shoe gaze-y pop. There‘s still something inherently missing to their somewhat disappointing set though. I can‘t really discern whether the music just sounds flat or their stage presence is harmed by the fact that the venue is hellishly crammed with people and there‘s not much air to go around.
This UK duo play their bright melodies that are definitely in the vein of Hot Chip or Chromeo that provoked people to move their legs. It was pretty funky at times, and the Alan Vega-esque yelps went strangely well with the cutesy dance pop. At the end of their set, they‘re playing some kind of mutated terror disco but their set still lacks a lot in diversity.
Though occasional Mount Kimbie keyboard player James Blake is a newcomer in the so-called “post-dubstep” scene in the UK, his sound is something else, sounding very much like something you‘ve never heard before. Even though his was solely a DJ set, he was the best act of the night and definitely the best time I‘ve had at this year‘s Iceland Airwaves. He starts out with distorted gospel samples and madness ensues; the next hour is a blurred frenzy of drunken, I-don‘t-give-a-shit dancing. The crowd was electrified by the terrific remixes, and his marvelled use of samples and “tension and release“. James Blake is definitely one to look out for.
Wild Geese play a DJ set of sub-bass heavy dubstep for those who still feel like sticking around. People are still in a stupor from the commotion before. It‘s been a long night.
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