Inspiration. Dreams. Passion. Talent. Art… Memories. We do believe in that kind of thing, here on Reykjavik Boulevard.
Our friend and important contributor from South-East Asia, AGUS MAKKIE, realized something special for all the Iceland Airwaves fans.
An inspiring 20 minutes “Do It Yourself” documentary film of Iceland Airwaves ‘12 music festival, the bands, the festivalgoers and the city, directed by Agus himself in collaboration with his team, Icelandic and European musicians and Reykjavik Boulevard. All the scenes, interview, live music were filmed on the most peaceful place on earth, Reykjavik in November ’12.
What is Iceland Airwaves Music Festival? We tried to describe all the feelings we got in our massive review.
Iceland Airwaves has a great track record of bringing the best Icelandic and international bands on the cusp of greatness and public awareness, for a long five days weekend.
It’s 4 a.m. You’ve been to five cool clubs, seen ten great bands, made fifteen new friends and fallen in love twenty times. You’re tired. You’re wired. You’re ready to find a bed. You’re ready to find the after-party. You can’t believe you’re here. You’re already making plans to come back next year. And guess what? It’s still Day One.
Reykjavík is a small town, there are only 320,000 people in the whole Iceland.
The downtown area where the festival is held only less than a few blocks long in either direction.
Everyone all over America, Canada, Europe and even Asia will cross paths all week long enjoying the Icelandic food, rushing from venue to venue to catch many amazing show, sitting and chatting with artists or even just exploring Iceland’s beautiful country side like I do. Iceland had much for us to discover. Here are some artists from the 2012 lineup that are included in our video documentary, reviewed by Agus Makkie straight from his travel diary:
Reykjavik, 31 October ’12. It’s Cold morning… below zero degrees! I have to add more jackets and I am excited to start the day, yeah! This is the first day of Iceland Airwaves ’12. I walk around town to get to big venue and variety off venue places to see these bands gig. It was unforgettable experience I have until 4 November!
Apparat Organ Quartet
I met Ulfur Eldjarn member of Apparat Organ Quartet on 6 November at Marina Hotel. We chat and I was very excited and forgot to take photo with him. Apparat Organ Quartet is four electrifying keyboardists and one rhythmic drummer form the energetic five-piece Reykjavík-based band, Apparat Organ Quartet. Band member Jóhann Jóhannsson formed the group in September of 1999. Apparat Organ Quartet first began exploring with experimental improvisations that they performed as a series of concerts, laying down the foundations for their future sound through minimalist works creating every noise and glitch composed within their songs. They are visionaries within their own genre, using everything from short-circuited Casio keyboards, malfunctioning hammonds, and custom homemade organs to produce what they call “Machine Rock and Roll.”
It was a dramatic moment at KEX Hostel. I am incredibly excited to see is Ólafur Arnalds and interview him personally after I e-mail him without reply and suddenly I bumped to him and tell him where I came from and those emails, he was very kind to have a spare time to chat with me. A little secret at that time is I could feel my eyes starting to tear… on his final song… I guess everyone have the same feeling like me. My eyes still wet when I met him first time. Ólafur combines classical music with electronic beats to create music that stands out to music lovers around the world. He is a multi-instrumentalist that preforms live on the piano accompanied by strings, which creates a beautiful melodic harmony that can send goose bumps down your spine and bring a tear to your eye. Ólafur Arnalds’ compositions are absolutely moving.
I did not have chance to interview them, so I find out more about them. Yes! FM Belfast is one of my favorite, When you are with them on the venue, you feel like to move and dance… that’s the hardest way when you hold a camera to document the scenes… FM Belfast utilizes catchy synth hooks and driving, bombastic drums to create an upbeat and exciting musical experience. Very different from ethereal style of iconic Icelandic acts like Sigur Rós, this music will make you stamp your feet and throw your hands in the air. FM Belfast formed in 2005 by Lóa and Árni Rúnar Hlöòversson in Reykjavík, Iceland. FM Belfast has released two albums: How to Make Friends in 2008 and Don’t Want to Sleep in 2011. The dreamy sound effects color generally fast-paced tracks with combination of male and female vocals keeps the music fresh and evocative.
It’s been a pleasure to see this funkiest band Retro Stefson on the stage! They are Crazy as always! Slappy bass, obese synths, and a singer with more charisma than a politician all made Retro Stefson a balls-to-the-walls experience that could scarcely be rivaled. Calling for the audience to throw their shirts on stage, “You have to be sexy at Iceland Airwaves!” They blasted through funkadelic numbers in quick succession, always moving, frontman Unnstein Stefánsson dancing with such intensity that he seemed to be cast from pure energy. They widening the gap between the audience and the stage in order to make room for one of the band members to jump down and start breakdancing. Naturally, everyone went berserk. With final calls of “Harpa, you gotta be sexy tonight!”
The band that I have no chance to interview, they are also my favorite. I hope I can meet them for interview personally this year. I saw their gig in an off venue place… The band ripped through a half hour set to an appreciative crowd who called for more after every track. The tiny bar was jam packed; people were standing on couches, tables, anything they could find to get a better view of the Icelandic electro four-piece, who filled the few spaces between people with hard-hitting sound. “I feel like we’re all in a big elevator,” singer Agnes Andradóttir joked as Sykur got set to play at Sirkús Port. Andradóttir’s fantastic, growling voice carried cleanly over the group’s dirty beats and punching synths.
Before going to see Sigur Ros, I went to Laudromat to meet Doddi, one of Samaris member. I like electronic music. I’m constantly on the lookout for electronic music that’s both progressive and organic, especially if it amalgamates unconventional sampling and tasty beats. Samaris, an electronic trio composed of three young students who include a clarinet player (Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir), a vocalist (Jófríður Ákadóttir), and a computer programmer Doddi (Þórður Kári Steinþórsson). They create songs that call to mind experimental electronic, post-dubstep, and downtempo.
A day when I forgot the day I was rushed to Harpa Kaldalon to I finally find this band I can really sink my mind into. There’s something about the seamless display of sonic contrast that Reykjavík’s Agent Fresco rocks. You’re being blissfully lulled by vocalist Arnór Dan Arnarson’s floating vocals, swaying by instrumental melodies. The serenity is morphed into a fleeting wall of crunching guitars and stuttering drum rhythms.
So, are you coming to 2013 edition?
We are going to be there, first row, soon you will find here updates, curiosities, interviews and much more!