Iceland Airwaves Day Two (11/6): Stara Rzeka, Hymnalaya, Tremoro Tarantura

Stara Rzeka used multiple distortion pedals at Airwaves 2014.
Stara Rzeka used multiple distortion pedals at Airwaves 2014.

Stara Rzeka, the one-man distortion and Polish noise rocker, meticulously blasted his way through a half hour set on the second night of Airwaves. Sweating profusely and writhing over a table of distortion pedals, Kuba Ziolek electrified the intimate and dimly-lit Gaukurinn. Working his way through his new self-titled EP, Stara Rzeka, Ziolek’s guitar and distortion led the audience into the chaos and out towards elation. Being able to stride the line between intricate subtlety and chaos, Stara Rzeka’s obscure lurking form added an alluring aspect to his melodic and spiraling compositions.

Hymnalaya's played Airwaves back to back years.
Hymnalaya’s played Airwaves back to back years.

Hymnalaya opened their set with crowd favorite, “Colt For A King” and didn’t look back. The 10-piece eased through their Airwaves set playing multiple tracks from their first album, HymnsStill showcasing their soft, delicate instrumentation, Hymnalaya gently coaxed the intimate Iðnó crowd into swaying midway through “Everything.” The composition of the horn section made up for a bit of distortion and feedback midway through the set, distracting and elevating the crowd from the technical difficulty. A wholesome performance, Hymnalaya  sailed into the cold Icelandic nighttime, taking their patented folky ambient tones with them.

Tremoro Tarantura shredded up Guakurinn on the second night of Airwaves.
Tremoro Tarantura shredded up Guakurinn on the second night of Airwaves.

Tremoro Tarantura stormed Airwaves with their deafening, uncontrollable set.  Playing a few off Brasjevelter #7, the grimy, distorted but engaging Norwegian rockers blew a monitor speaker midset and had to sound check again. Making up for the lull in excitement, the group towed the line between disaster and beauty, which culminated in their edgy synths, driving percussion and shredding guitar riffs to make for one of the loudest Airwaves performances yet.  Calculation amidst complete disaster, Tremoro Tarantura showed the true characteristics of a stridently strong live performance.

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