Flashback: in 1982, the dark synth-punk outfit Q4U releases their first and only album, ‘Q1’. Shortly after they are featured in the seminal scene film of the time, ‘Rokk í Reykjavík’. Flash forward: October 2016, Q4U is back on the scene with a new ten-track album featuring all-new material, their first release in twenty years. The band originally began as an archetypal four-piece punk band, but by the time ‘Q1’ was originally released, their spirited furor had been honed into a “sharpened synth-punk machine” (Aquarius Records). On October 8, Q4U will play a release show at Húrra, performing all of their new material along with a selection of songs from their 2013 re-release of ‘Q1’.
Almost exactly one year ago one of our music journalists, Davíð Roach, sat down for an interview with Auðunn Lúthersson, aka Auður—an electronic music artist with no stage presence, no media presence, not even a single released song. It was what we’d call a faith-based maneuver. They hype was real. It was recently announced that Auður has signed with independent publisher Imagem Music, a group responsible for names like Daft Punk, M.I.A. and Ludacris to name a few. During the month of October, Auður will attend Red Bull Music Academy in Montreal (the first Icelander to do so) and has promised new material before coming back to Reykjavík for his second appearance on the Iceland Airwaves roster.
In January of this year, Karl Torsten Ställborn (Muck/Fufanu) and Guðlaugur Halldór Einarsson (Fufanu/russian.girls) joined forces as Skrattar and released four tracks of rockish popish lo-fi. In June their second four-tracker, ‘Hellraiser II’, came out and carried us through the psychedelic surf season of summer. At the end of September a compilation album assembled by the record label Hið Myrka Man featured a previously unreleased Skrattar track called “Never Gonna Slow Down.” We hope you don’t, Skrattar, keep it coming.
The album that track was released on, ‘Myrkramakt II’, is a follow-up to ‘Myrkramakt I’, released in June 2015. It is a genre-spanning compilation featuring sounds from Icelandic artists such as Kaðlín, ROHR, Lord Pusswhip, and IDK/IDA, amongst a darkly themed cast of others.
Iceland is known for its dynamism. You’ve heard the one about “if you don’t like the weather…” by now. Seems the same principles apply to the nation’s biggest music festival, Iceland Airwaves, which just announced that British grime headliner Stormzy won’t be turning up after all. But before we had a chance to moan too much the London winds blew in Dizzee Rascal to replace him. Stormzy is one of the biggest names in the game right now in grime and rap, and his absence “due to reasons out of [his] control” will be felt. I’m not crying, I think it’s just raining out…
But while we’re on the topic of bringing in the greats,
THIS JUST IN: Björk announces an exclusive show at Harpa during Airwaves this year!
THIS JUST IN: Björk show sells out less than 24 hours after pre-sale tickets are made available.
THIS JUST IN: Björk announces SECOND ALSO VERY EXCLUSIVE show at Harpa during Airwaves this year! Like we said, it’s all about dynamism.