Tag Archives: Futuregrapher

Iceland Airwaves Day Four: Alunageorge, Kimono, Árni2, Kajak (11/2)

After John Grant‘s sarcastic lyrical experience, it was time for the much-anticipated AlunaGeorge at Harpa Silfurberg.

This British electric pop duo, consisting of the beautiful Aluna Fransis on vocals and the production stylings of George Reid, has been popping out a lot of hits the past year.  Surprisingly the venue was relatively empty at first, but sure enough by the third song the place got packed.  Their live show certainly did not disappoint.  With upbeat electric backings and a well-honed stage presence, this act was fun to watch as well as dance to.  The performance truly went off without a hitch and will probably be one of the most concise acts playing at Iceland Airwaves this year.

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*AlunaGeorge

After some heavy grooving at AlunaGeorge, I ran over to catch Kimono at Harlem.  This three-piece indie rock band had phenomenal driving drums, which is probably their strongest suit.  It was interesting to see a bass guitar played with a big wooden stick.  If you go to this show it is a possibility that a complete stranger will come up to you and suck on your earlobe for a song or two, and maybe even bite you on the shoulder.

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*Kimono

At the end of the night I flew across the street to Amsterdam to see Árni2, because who doesn’t need some more deep house in their lives?

The DJ group consisting of Árni Valur and Árni Grétar (of Futuregrapher) hits you hard right in the face with the classic low booming bass of the deep house genre against a backdrop of minimalist ambiance and trance-like arpeggios.  It was a very intimate show and when the concert goers weren’t dancing, they were shaking hands and bumping knucks with the two performers.  This show was a lot of fun and everyone was getting down.

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*Árni2

The next morning we all pried ourselves from our warm beds after only a few hours of sleep to go on Iceland’s renowned Golden Circle Tour.  We saw geysers, trenches, rivers, waterfalls, and I even climbed a mountain!

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*Atop a mountain on the Golden Circle Tour

After months of trading emails with Moni and Hreinn, it was time to see Kajak at Harlem and I had very high hopes for this group.  They came through with flying colors.  This band has almost no definable genre and are innovative and unlike anything you will hear at Airwaves, or anywhere else for that matter.  Instrumentation of this band included great beats produced on a drum machine, a synthesizer, and an Indian Tabla drum.  The cousin’s dual vocals, high energy, and earthly visualization make this group a blast to see, especially in an intimate setting like Harlem.

After the show I got a chance to speak with Kajak backstage and set up an interview at Harpa to get some insight on where their totally unique songs come from.  Stay tuned for a preview of what is to come from this interview clip.

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*Backstage with Hreinn (Right)  and Moni (Left) of Kajak

That’s all from Andrew on this very long yet amazing day at Iceland Airwaves ’13.

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Iceland Airwaves Day Two: Emilíana Torrini, Árstídir, Samaris And Elín Ey (10/31)

Last night after posting my blog I got a chance to see Emilíana Torrini perform at 12:10 in Harpa Silfurberg.

She started off with the powerful “Tookah,” which was full of fun beats and intense bass. The music began soft and continued to slowly build. Her cheeks became rosier as she sang “Home” and then smoothly transitioned into “Animal Games” where she howled like the “woo-oolf.”

At the same time as “Birds” began, lighted-lined images projected and danced on the ceiling. Her voice sounded like sadness and despair and was accompanied by mellow music. And then the lights shone out to the crowd and only her silhouette was visible.

“This song is about being brave enough to be happy,” she said, describing the next song, “Big Jumps,” to the swaying mass of people before her. “Autumn Sun” played out to be slightly faster and more angry than the sad CD version.

She mostly spoke in Icelandic, and once she started speaking English, she seemed to catch herself mid-sentence and switched back over. This may have to do with her replanting her roots in her home country that she’s been away from for several years.

She ended with “Blood Red.” It was very dark and mysterious and she slowly stepped away from the mic and disappeared into the dark as her voice faded, and then the crowd was hit with sound as the band started up “Speed Of Dark.” The way she ended the show was unusual because she just walked off stage when she was done singing, but the song wasn’t finished. It added to the mystery and darkness of her newer music.

She introduced her encore in Icelandic, but I believe she announced the song as a brand new one, because she was reading from a paper as she sang. It was very poetically put together. “The catacombs of the dragonfly,” she sang along with the simple strumming from the guitar.

After leaving the show I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Northern lights. My camera’s battery was dead,, but I heard that it will be even brighter tonight and I’ll be prepared this time.

Today I was able to enjoy the beautiful Icelandic weather as I walked to the building that houses all of the Icelandic women’s rights NGOs. I learned a lot about the issues Icelanders are still facing, and more on why they are ranked the numberone country for women.

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Árstídir performed at 9:50 in Gamla Bíó.

Gamla Bíó is an opera house with a sit-down style of concert, and this can make it difficult for fans to stay pumped and riled up for the performers. Árstídir consists of six men, Daníel Auðunsson (Guitar & Vocals), Gunnar Már Jakobsson (Guitar & Vocals), Ragnar Ólafsson (Baritone guitar & Vocals), Hallgrímur Jónas Jensson (Cello & Vocals), Jón Elísson (Piano & Vocals) and Karl James Pestka (Violin & Vocals). Pestka was fun to watch as well as listen to as he scrunched his face and furiously strummed his bow. This band is some sort of mix between classical music, rock and boy band, with delicious harmonies.

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Samaris performed at 10:40 in Gamla Bíó.

Samaris disappointed. Rumor was, yesterday Samaris put on a terrific performance, but tonight they seemed mild and meek. Jófríður Ákadóttir was hard to hear as well as the stand-in clarinet player. Maybe the performance let-down was not entirely the band’s fault, Þórður Kári Steinþórsson was encountering many technical difficulties.

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As I left Gamla Bíó I was starving, and to my luck there was a food truck parked right outside! The burgers were delicious, with lettuce and peppery bacon and some other saucy condiment.

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Elín Ey performed at 11:30 in Harlem.

I walked into Harlem expecting to see Futuregrapher, a bald and bearded man blasting some hard and fast tunes, but I ended up encountering Elín Ey, and I was not disappointed. Her vocals combined with her disco-sounding DJ styling was a joy to hear and see. People couldn’t help themselves, their bodies were entranced with the thumping rhythms — it was a great end to a great day.

Iceland Airwaves ’12 LIVE Preview Show – WCRX 88.1 FM (Recap)

Listen as The Covering International Festival class of Columbia College Chicago talk about their music preview stories in anticipation for the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival 2012 during a live broadcast, which aired on WCRX 88.1 FM on October 13th, 2012.

The Iceland Airwaves Music Festival is an event that brings artists from around the world to grace the stages of venues in Reykjavík, Iceland. Here are some artists from the lineup this year that we included in our on-air preview (with links to our interviews and reviews from the fest): Apparat Organ QuartetDIIVEndless DarkEXITMUSICFM BelfastFuturegrapherIntro BeatsLow RoarOf Monsters and MenÓlafur Arnalds, and Phantogram. We also featured Agent FrescoBiggi HilmarsNóra, and Nolo in our preview.

Under the guidance of Columbia College professor Althea Legaspi, 10 students were given the opportunity to interview, report, and review musicians right from the heart of the festival. The trip may be over, but a full length audio documentary about the classes experience is being produced as we speak. STAY TUNED!