Iceland Airwaves Day Three: Nolem, Ramses, Amaba Dama, Skurken

I started my day with a slice of an orange, an apple, a very bruised banana, and SAMSUNGwaffles, I kept my mind on the interviews I had scheduled today.

I journeyed far away from the venues and buildings in the center of Reykjavík. I walked along the coast with the sea not so far away with cold hands grabbing onto a green laminated folder.

My destination was a considerable distance away. The fact that I was walking and the cold strong winds were blowing on my face made it harsh. It was all worth it because I was on my way to the Iceland Academy of the Arts. I was going there to meet the Dean of Arts Education, Kristín Valsdóttir. We sat in her office and I interviewed her about arts education in Iceland. The interview went well and made me excited for a piece I work on later.

After my talk with Valsdóttir, I left the academy to go to the next interview SAMSUNG almost an hour away at the Reykjavík Visual Arts School to talk to the director of the school, Ingibjörg Jóhannsdóttir. Before  Jóhannsdóttir, I interviewed an artist and worker at the school, Bjarki Bragason. He told me of his experiences in the Academy of the Arts and his current projects. Afterward I sat with Jóhannsdóttir we talked for a while about the history of the school and the use of art in conjunction with normal curriculum.

When I was done with my interview, I went to City Hall to meet Barbara J. Kristivinsson, a counselor for immigrants in the human rights office in the city of Reykjavík and chairman of Women of Multi Ethnicity Network or W.O.M.E.N. We sat and discussed the issues immigrants have in Reykjavík. She also brought up her own personal experiences.

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After all my interviews were down I headed to the Sea Baron restaurant to try their famous lobster soup. It was simply delicious, along with my salmon and scallop kabob. Then I had to prepare to review the Café Amsterdam line up: Nolem, Ramses, Amaba Dama, and Skurken.

Nolem had a sort of acoustic hip-hop performance with various hip-hop artists including Kott Gra Pje. The show was definintely entertaining, it had a sense of mystery and curiosity. I didn’t know who was coming on stage next and what the next sound and hip-hop genre of the next set.

Ramses show was good but somewhat lacking. His music has a sense of ’90s hip-hop with very heavy bass. The crowd was either cold or luke warm at best. He did have appealing traits, he had a sense of randomness which is also a aspect of ’90s hip-hop. He threw his albums into the crowd for them to grab as well as had little snippets in each song that changed over to a phrase, another song, or a noise.

Amaba Dama was a must see performance. It was simply incredible. The group started off with slow and rhythmic reggae with a singing trio but as their performance went on it became more lively and danceable. The crowd became more and more enamored and wrapped into musical splendor. Amaba Dama finished and the crowd was chanting for an encore.

Skurken put on an interesting and entertaining electric dance show. The Dj played a mix of electro that was at times eerie, frantic, danceable or hypnotic. I didn’t know what I was going to hear next I just know that I enjoyed it and wanted it. The crowd must have felt the same way as they danced and moved to every song and switch over.

This was a nice way to spend my second day in Reykjavík.

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