Iceland Airwaves Day One: Intro Beats, Skurken, Tanya and Marlon, and Futuregrapher @ Faktorý Bar

Faktorý Bar was slightly empty around 8 pm, but the beautifully sincere break beat  computer melodies of electro artist Skurken provided enough sound to fill the small crowd with excitement. Skurken bounced up and down to the intense ambient electro tracks he spun and those watching could not help but join in. It was an original mash up of weird and elegant jungle glitch tracks mixed together. Skurken closed his eyes during the set responding to the ethereal sounds that he created. There was something so entrancing about the visual light show going on during Skurken’s performance that added to the ambiance of this set. Skurken bounced back and forth from his laptop to various gadgets alongside him to produce fuzz, delay, and reverb mimicking the visual masterpiece that was behind him. Unfortunately there weren’t that many people at the bar to see this set.

Around 10pm the downstairs area of Faktory Bar slowly began to fill with Airwavers from around the world and inevitably, Intro’s set made everyone share the same universal head bob despite the differences in languages and backgrounds present. Intro Beats started off the night sampling “I’ll Erase Away Your Pain” by The Whatnauts, the same sample that can be heard in Kanye West’s track “Late.” Hipsters rocked and rolled their hips to the bumpy bass-filled beats of songs like ” Let’s Travel” the latest single off of Intro’s recent solo album “Halftime.”  Later on in the set,  Intro put his dynamic turntable skills to the test when he mixed in Beyoncé’s “Halo” to his very own lo-fi funky instrumental.

The audience danced through thick clouds of smoke from smoke machines, waving, twisting, and turning to each genre that Intro showcased.  He even threw trap into the mix, a genre of music that is currently gained popularity in the U.S.  His gritty, dirty south composition had one guy in the crowd yelling. Others stumbled and faltered to the “boom boom bap” of  this unforeseen beat. It was a sheer surprise.

Upstairs the Weirdcore Collective sent pulsating  ’90s break beat bangers and antsy jungle rythm’s through everyone in the audience. Funny, vibrant, and quirky Weirdcore pioneers Tanya and Marlon started off their set at around 11:30, looking a bit underdressed compared to their past performances, although Marlon ‘s scary demonic rabbit mask had the audience bracing themselves for things to get to a whole new level of weird. Tanya charmed the audience with her cute demeanor, laughing and cheering the audience on to tune into her wild nature. It was nice to see a female producer on stage, making noise with all the equipment that male producers are often typically seen with.

The two cousins channeled off each others’ energy, taking turns to hype up the crowd between the drum and bass filled breaks within their set.  There was absolutely no one in the audience who wasn’t moving. At one point I was even whisked on stage to dance it out.

The night ended off with Icelandic ambient electro genius Futuregrapher, accompanied by Guðjón Heiðar who dropped vocals on his latest single “Think.” It was interesting because instead of chopping up his own tracks, Futuregraper sent in help from a guest DJ to help mix and spin some of his music while the unpredictable artist took front stage to chant in-audible banter into the microphone accompanied by some really out there dance moves. It was awesome to say the least.  Once “Panda Walk With Me” dropped, the crowd literally went nuts.  Icelandic girls hair spun left and right. A 30-year-old gentlemen standing next to me couldn’t decide what way to shake his body.   Faktorý Bar  line up on Thursday  built up to a highly anticipated thrill.

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