Category Archives: iceland

Iceland Airwaves 2015 is on….

Iceland Airwaves 2015

Peeps, here we go again. Iceland is getting darker these days but Iceland Airwaves will light up and warm your hearts and ears. It’s very exciting to see this northernmost capital get ready, music lovers arrive, bands are strolling around the city, the people from KEXP are getting ready for their beautiful broadcasting in Kex Hostel. You can feel the vibrant air and the good mood of everybody who is around. We can’t wait to see all this international acts, as there are not many of them coming during the non-festival months. There are the big names like Beach House (Sat Nov 7th, 22:10, Harpa Silfurgerg), Father John Misty (Thur Nov 5th, 0:00, Harpa Silfurberg), John Grant And The Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Thur Nov 5th, 20:00, Harpa Eldborg), Mercury Rev. (Thur Nov 5th, 22:30, Harpa Silfurberg), Perfume Genius (Fri Nov 6th, 22:10, Harpa Silfurberg) , Bianca Casady and the C.I.A. (Fri Nov 6th, 22:30, Harpa Norðurljós), Battles (Sat Nov 7th, 23:50, Harpa Silfurberg) and Låpsley (Sat Nov 7th, 22:50, Reykjavik Art Museum).

Beside of christmas, this is the time of year when almost all the icelandic bands are on this little island. So we are happy to see from tour home coming Agent Fresco and Low Roar, Junius Meyvant, Retro Stefson, VAR, Vök, Futuregrapher, Hjaltalín, Soffia Björg and Valdimar. And many more which are worth to take a listen:

Ylja

Máni Orrason

Axel Flóvent

Grísalappalísa

HAM

Valdimar

As we are checking our favorites list, we realise there are many many great girl power bands. But not just this, but we can’t wait to see those to play:

BRNS (Belgium)

Great Mountain Fire (Belgium)

HINDS (Spain)

Meat Wave (United Kingdom)

Mourn (Spain)

SOAK (United Kingdom)

Rozi Plain (United Kingdom)

Saun & Starr (United States)

The Drink (United Kingdom)

Chastity Belt (United States)

So, check out the Iceland Airwaves schedule, don’t forget the off venue schedule and listen to their great playlist on spotify and stay updated with our facebook and instagram!

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Rotation: Bang Gang

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Sitting, staring, waiting for the first tones of the song “The Sin Is Near” of the new record of Barði Jóhannsson alias Bang Gang, who was already working together with JB Dunckel from Air and Keren Ann and their projects Starwalker and Lady & Bird. Dark clouds are passing by, pushing the heaven near to the ground. Goosebumbs all over, the feeling of being not alone, a cold shower is passing the room. And this is how “The Sin Is Near” feels like, a bit dark, creepy but extremely present. No surprise, Bloodgroup was helping out with that creepyness. There couldn’t be a better beginning after the great “Something Wrong”, the last “Ghosts From The Past” and after years of working for several movie soundtracks for „De Toutes Nos Forces“ and “Would You Rather”. And after seven years of collecting feelings, moments, ideas and thoughts.

And all this feelings, moments, ideas and thoughts found a good home on “The Wolves Are Whispering” (released 19.6. via Bang ehf. / Alive), between strings, synthie-pianos and popsounds. Sometimes the coldish voice of Samaris singer Jofriður Ákadottir is crossing the hallway. She is almost breathing life into the dark rooms, she is whispering and everything is getting bigger, like a cathedral. She is taking your hand, coming very close to your face and singing “I can feel your heartdache under your surface”. You can feel the words healing in the silence. And then there are songs like “Wait By The Lake”, “My Special One” or “A Lonely Bird” (with Keren Ann) – softly, fragile and begging for listening and following Barði into the feelings and thoughts.

The end is marked with the unbelievable intense and beautiful song “We Will Never Get Along”. And here we go again: Goosebumbs, the cold shower is sneaking through the room, the song is building up and breaking out in the middle, it is sinister but in the beautiful way. “I am here with you even you are hiding somewhere else” – hello elfes, welcome to my home.

Barði has collected the best and also most sad thoughts, moments and feelings to create “The Wolves Are Whispering” and indeed made the best follow up for “Ghosts From The Past”. Still breathtaking, skinscratching and heartbreaking.

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Festival: Saga Fest Iceland

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Strong winds are blowing over Suðurland, you can see it in the short yellow brownish gras which is everywhere. The green is almost breaking through, so the icelandic spring is on it’s way. As excited the people here are waiting for this, as excited it is, that there will be a kind of newish event will take place just one hour drive from the capital of Iceland.

On 23. and 24. of may on the Stokkseyrarsel farm the Saga Fest is asking “What’s our story?”
And that’s what we will do in less than one week. We will have an interesting get-together, meet new people with interesting stories, interesting ideas and we are curious as hell to experience all of this and music, art and workshops. Just to name few great things which will go on:

Music:
La Fontaine (Electronica)
Ylja (Folk)
Var (Psychedelic Pop)
Axel Flóvent (Indie/Folk)
For A Minor Reflection (Postrock)
Soffia Björg (Singer/Songwriter)
Kippi Kaninus (Electro/Acoustic)
and more

Workshops:
Balancing Trust
Skateboard Design
Narrative Oral History
Sharing Your Story
Opening Meditation
Burlesque
and more

Art:
Sound Healing
WE
Wind Sculpture
Concert In The Dark 2.0
and more

I was asking Scott Shigeoka some questions about this interesting project:

What is Saga Fest about and where does this idea come from, who did the first step?

Saga Fest comes from the idea of creating a space where people feel safe and vulnerable to connect to each other and to nature. It’s also about connecting to ourselves, finding the essence of who we are and crafting shared purpose. We picked “What’s Our Story” as our tagline is because we believe storytelling can facilitate many of these connections. Since we are a community-driven festival at heart, the first real step came from the local community of Selfoss who is supporting this event whole-heartedly.

From the first idea to now, how long took it to plan this kind of festival?

By the time the festival long weekend gets here, it will have been 9 months in planning.

As it will take place at a farm in the south of iceland, will there also be some camping possibilities for the guests or are you working together with hotels, hostels in Selfoss or Reykjavik?

Everyone that buys a weekend ticket gets a camping permit with it. There will be little village areas where people can co-live together. This festival is all about community building, so those that choose to live on-site will get the most enriching experience. Though, we understand that other guests will want to stay at nearby hostels, B&Bs and hotels in the area. We recommend looking in Selfoss, Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki, since these three towns are the closest to the festival site.

It’s not just a music festival. What do you expect from this intercultural event?

Saga Fest is a people-powered event. Although we have a dedicated team of co-producers, we believe in a flat-structured festival without hierarchies. We believe beautiful connections and experiences can be created when artists, musicians, organizers and volunteers collaborate with the festival’s participants.

There will be two stages for music performances, art and dance; a community stage for poets, storytellers and community members to share; geodesic domes built for workshops and late-night DJs; a bonfire for storytelling around the sagas and southern coastland; a focus on local food and communal eating; and participatory art experiences.

At the end of the day, this festival is about connecting people to each other and to nature. And to do it in a space fostering vulnerability, transformation and open-heartedness.

Are there also some fears that this would not work?

There is something beautiful that happens when there is full trust involved with everyone participating and organizing the festival. Everyone has worked together to co-create a beautiful culture that supports open-mindedness and creativity. Already, through the process of creating this festival, we are seeing minds open and creativity sparked. It has been beautiful to witness and we are excited to see everything in action in May!

So, come and spent a great weekend with us, it will change your life (isn’t everything which you experience changing your life somehow?!)
Tickets are still available on Midi.is

I never went south – Aldrei Fór Ég Suður 2015

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Iceland is not just well known for its unique and wild nature, it is very well known for its grand music scene and festival culture. More than twenty big and smaller festivals are held during the whole year.

Now these days it comes up to “Aldrei Fór Ég Suður”, which will take place on easter (3.-5. of april) in Isafjörður – the capital of the beautiful westfjords of Iceland. This music festival was originally founded by musician mugison​ and his pabbi – only icelandic musicians are playing free shows all over the town…in that case “aldrei fór ég suður” means “I never went south”.

So on Easter you could see the small city of Isafjörður crowded with music lovers and musicians like Gudrid Hansdottir, Valdimar​, Pink Street Boys, Boogie Trouble​, Prins Póló, Rythmatic​ and Júníus Meyvant​!

If they never went south, then we are going north (west)!

Stand der Dinge…

Hier war und ist es ziemlich leise in den letzten Monaten. Ich wohne seit ein paar Monaten in Island, wo die Zeit bislang häufig knapp war. Das möchte ich ändern, weiß nur noch nicht ob ich es in dem Umfang ändern kann, wie ich möchte. Deshalb könnt ihr auch gern auf die Facebook-Seite rüberschlappen, denn dort schaffe ich es häufiger Musiktpps, neue Alben, On-Tour-Daten und andere Dinge an die richtigen Ohren zu bringen.  Und sonst nicht müde werden und auch hierher wiederkommen. Danke für die Aufmerksamkeit!

So this is the new year…

…noch nicht ganz, aber in ein paar Stunden ists soweit. Ganz dem Sinnieren über die vergangenen 12 Monate kann auch ich mich nicht entziehen. War 2013 ein gutes oder ein schlechtes Jahr? Wie wird wohl 2014? Keine Ahnung, so recht finde ich keine Einteilung. Wie schon 2012 ist auch dieses Jahr ein Zwischenjahr gewesen, ein Lückenfüller. Nur wofür ist noch die Frage. Musikalisch gabs da auf jeden Fall einige tolle Momente, von Platte wie auch live. Große Bedeutung hatten neben meinen Dauerrotationen Love A und OK Kid auch Daughter, das Haldern Pop fand ich eines der gelungensten der letzten Jahre und das Junip-Konzert hat mir 2013 am besten gefallen. Wie es nun 2014 werden wird? Anders. Dinge werden sich verändern, meine Herzensstadt wird sich verändern, schon allein mit dem Umzug des Molotow (hoffentlich gibt es ihn) und dem “Ende” der Hasenschaukel. Ich werde mich verändern. Eines weiß ich aber jetzt schon, dass ich die Band All The Luck In The World lieben werde. Und das ist auch mein Arbeitstitel für 2014: All The Luck In The World.

“live” vom Iceland Airwaves 2013

Mein Herz zerfrisst sich vor Sehnsucht, denn sekündlich erhalte ich über diverse Social-Media Portale Infos, Fotos, Streams vom Iceland Airwaves Festival, welches am Mittwoch gestartet ist und bis Sonntag in Reykjavik stattfindet. Nicht nur der offizielle Festivalplan lässt die Augen weitaufgerissen, sondern auch die Off-Venue-Konzerte lassen das Musikherz höher schlagen.

Letztes Jahr habe ich während meiner Reise mein Herz an Daughter verloren, die Begleitmusik in Form eines Mixtapes für eine Tour durch den Süden waren. Schneeverhangene Berge und “Youth” laut aus Lautsprecher und Mund des australischen Fahrers schallend. Und natürlich Sigur Rós nicht zu vergessen…ein Traum wurde wahr!

Dies Jahr hätte ich mir neben bereits liebgewonnenen isländischen Bands wie Valdimar, Ásgeir, Oyama, Hjaltalín, Borko oder Snorri Helgason wohl Metz, Anna Von Hausswolff, Fucked Up oder Yo La Tengo angeschaut.

Mit dabei die tolle Radiostation KEXP, die live aus dem Kex-Hostel überträgt. Später wird es sicher auch diverse Videos geben, um die tollen Erinnerungen nochmal aufzufrischen. Oder um sehnsuchtsvolle Herzen höher schlagen zu lassen. Oder die Füße tanzen, bis sie bluten, wie bei den Lieblingsflummis von FM Belfast!