Iceland Airwaves is an annual state-of-the-union for Icelandic music. As well as being a who’s-who of better-known acts, it’s also the place to find the best up-and-coming artists from all corners of the country’s thriving scene, from gothic pop to pounding techno, trashy rap, lo-fi, punk, folk, metal, drag and everything inbetween.
To help you navigate the line-up, here’s part one of our guide to the 48 new bands who’ll play Airwaves for the very first time in 2017.
A graphic designer by day, Án also creates tightly-scored, softly-textured techno/electronica with a warm, humane thread running through it. His debut EP, ‘Ljóstillífun‘, made a great impression with those in the know, and propelled him straight onto the Airwaves lineup. Read our in-depth interview here. JR
Vocalist and producer AFK, aka Andri Fannar Kristjánsson, made his stage debut touring with Högni Egilsson. His latest single, ‘Alone,’ is a pulsing, late-night electronica track with a simple hook and echoing background vocals. Fans of Burial might appreciate this one. JR
Andartak is a solo producer who uses synths and drum machines to create atmospheric, propulsive, retro electro-techno with an analogue feel. A fan of improvising in response to the room, this is dance music performed without the aid of a safety laptop. JR
This acoustic duo were the winners of the 2017 Músiktilraunir battle-of-the-bands contest, joining such luminaries at MAMMÚT, Samaris and Agent Fresco in the content’s alumnus. Expect quiet, mellow acoustic tunes with beguiling two-part harmonies. Read out interview with the band here. JR
Rapper Birnir created a lot of hype in the Icelandic rap scene. Though only having two released songs, he rocked a prime spot at Secret Solstice and opened for Yung Thug. Give him a listen and you’ll understand why—with a chill vibe, he’s got a sound that seamlessly blends the best of the old school with trap. Win-win. HJC
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