The 4th volume of Iceland Music Export's "Made in Iceland" compilation series is out and, as always, it features a wide selection of artists including a few you may know (FM Belfast, Sin Fang, Ólöf Arnalds, Rökkurró, etc.) plus at least a couple you may not. All have released albums recently and are touring at home and abroad and, who knows? Maybe even a few will surprise you by not conforming to your usual expectations of Icelandic music -- I can tell you that this Dikta track certainly defies my prejudices. No ambient soundscapes, no other-worldly vocal swoops, no precious tweeness -- just straight-up solid, friendly pop/rock. Nothing wrong with that at all.
For more info, check out the comp's official microsite where they have the whole thing available for streaming: http://www.icelandmusic.is/Media/Made-in-Iceland-4/
Dikta - Thank you
When talking about music, the word "Icelandic" has come to mean a lot more than where the band members hail from. With the consistently brilliant works of Sigur Rós, the talents of Mům, and Björk's wonderfully bizarre offerings, "Icelandic" has come to simultaneously define an ethereal, arctic expanse and an idiosyncratic and otherworldly landscape, with any deviations to one's conception of the term often being easily reconciled and folded into the wide-reaching designation. While "Í annan heim" may lean more towards a more traditional presentation of melancholy pop than their kinsfolk, Rökkurró will not be heralded as the band who broke the Icelandic mold, though this isn't to disparage their talents or sound. "Í annan heim" is home to quite a bit of quality songwriting, though, as a whole, the despondence is not always paired with intrigue -- the compositions, while beautiful, often pass without having convinced us to follow. The album does open up with repeated listening, and closer "Svamur" makes a strong case for one to start the album over, but I wouldn't be surprised if some never make it to those final moments -- those that find themselves wanting another pass through, however, will be happily rewarded.
- Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson
Ja Ja Ja has confirmed that the lineup for their October showcase on the 21st will feature The Deer Tracks, The Low Frequency in Stereo and Rökkurró.