First things first, the Secret Solstice festival that took place in Laugardalur from June 1518 was a monstrous blissful good time for us. The best in show this time was for sure Anderson .Paak, whose swaggering rap antics, ferocious live band funk and his own acrobatic drumming—often all three at the same time—kept the 10,000-plus people attending more amped up than Rick James on Bolivian cocaine. Anderson is the whole Paak-age (forgive us): he can rap, sing, dance and play the drums, with his shitload of charm, style and good looks as accessories.
The Ghanaian oddity Ata Kak was another Solstice highlight, bringing a very weird concoction of African highlife music, lo-fi Casio beats and scat rapping—but he had bundles of groove in his heart, and that’s all that counts. Other stuff we liked a lot were nu-Eurovision-star Daði Freyr, rap goddess Princess Nokia, the mosh pits at The Prodigy, watching Big Sean from a drop tower, dancing our asses off inside the gigantic black vortex that was Hel, and just the general vibe of the whole thing. It’s a free-spirited summery festival atmosphere that’s unique to Iceland, and we’re already looking forward to the next Solstice.
Regular readers of this column have noticed our affection for the band kef LAVÍK. For those who are not familiar, it’s a duo of guys in their early twenties who have for the past couple of years gained an ever growing cult following on the back of three EPs of detached Auto-Tuned electro-pop with degenerate lyrics about teenage angst, cheap drugs and damaged relationships. Their fourth EP should be out by the time these words come off the printing press, and it’s titled ‘Ágæt ein – Lög um að ríða og/eða nota fíkniefni’ (“A good night – Songs about fucking and/or using drugs”). As of writing, the album is not yet released, but the first single is. It’s called “Arabíska Vor” (“Arab Spring”) and accompanying it is their first-ever music video. The song is among their catchiest they’ve released, with lines as seedy as “I explode inside you, then fall asleep instantly” and as poetic-pretentious as “You are the North Star, I’m a captain in the 5th century.”
The video has a rough quality to it, portraying kids in their late teens and early twenties and an onslaught of bloody noses, simulated oral sex on ice creams and bananas, slot machines, white powder, vomit, homosexual sex and all sorts of youthful decadence that could be straight of a Harmony Korine film. We hope the rest of the EP is as good as the first offering, but no matter what you should check it out, along with their other albums if you’ve yet to, at their SoundCloud or Spotify pages.