Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

03 March 2013

Iceland




For being such a small island nation, Iceland has a fantastic breadth to its musickal girth. Because of Iceland's relative isolation, until the 19th century foreign influences were virtually absent. This resulted in the preservation of an ancient rhythm, called hákveða, lost in other Nordic countries, but considered one of the main characteristics of Icelandic musick. I have decided to showcase three disparate styles.


First off is Mezzoforte. Mezzoforte is an instrumental funk fusion band from Iceland formed in 1977. Original line-up from 1977: Friðrik “Frissi” Karlsson  - guitar; Jóhann Ásmundsson – bass; Eyþór Gunnarsson – keyboards; & Gunnlaugur “Gulli” Briem – drums. Their greatest hit was "Garden Party" in 1983. The band is named after the traditional musical term "mezzoforte", an instruction to play literally "moderately loud".

On Monkey-fields, Mezzoforte’s original quartet is augmented by: Tracy Akerman – vocals; Veigar Margeirsson – trumpet; Einar Jonsson - trombone; Oskar Gudjonsson - saxophone; Rowland Sutherland - flute; Sigurdur Flosason - bass clarinet, bass & alto flutes; Andrew Missingham – programming & sampling.

 Mezzoforte - Monkey-fields, Zyx Music – CD031001, 1996. 
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Tracklist:
Monkey-Fields
1812 Premature
Make It Funky
Wee Ahh
Drive
Plan B
Blow
Step Right Back
Funeral for a Mouse
Tom Jam Blah
The Squid
Aurora
Monkey Fields / Jam

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As we begin approaching the Scandinavian Peninsula, of course death metal rears its rotting face-painted head. Iceland’s Gone Postal began as a four-piece hardcore band from Kópavogur. They were founded in 2007 by Haukur Hannes & Nökkvi G. Gylfason. After some early member changes (the dismissal of Jón P. Gunnarsson-drums & the recruitment of Stefán A. Stefánsson - drums & Karl B. Flosason – bass) the band headed on a more focused death metal path. In February 2009 founding member Haukur Hannes left Gone Postal due to musical & personal differences. Currently Gone Postal play old-school style death metal. In the Depths of Despair was released in 2008 but as it’s sold out, the band made it available online so that more people can listen to it.



On In the Depths of Despair, Gone Postal are: Þorbjörn Steingrímsson- vocals; Haukur Hannes - guitar; Nökkvi G. Gylfason – guitar & vocals; Daníel S. Hallgrímsson – bass; & Stefán A. Stefánsson – drums. Backing vocals on “Soil Consumption” by Kjartan from Severed Crotch (another Icelandic death metal band).

 Gone Postal - In the Depths of Despair, Molestin Records, 2008. 
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Tracklist:
Modern Misanthrope
Postnatal Abortion
Throne of Depravity
Void of Torment
Soil Consumption
Roar of the Beheaded
Defiant Creation
Repulsive Hatred
Shotgun Reality
VIII

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I would be remiss if I traveled through Iceland without posting something by The Sugarcubes. The Sugarcubes are the biggest group ever to emerge from Iceland. Their debut Life's Too Good attracted terrific reviews & became a college radio hit. When it fell upon the ears of a very unsuspecting public in 1988, it was one of the most radical & esoteric albums ever concocted, for a major label or otherwise. This startlingly offbeat Icelandic quartet, helmed by a young singer named Bjork, painted a surreal landscape of post-post-modern rock on a canvas decorated with caterwauls, deflating horns, spicy guitar fills, & alternating English/Icelandic lyrics.


 According to musick lore, the Sugarcubes formed on June 8, 1986. That was the day vocalist Björk gave birth to her & then husband Þór Eldon's son, Sindri Eldon. Prior to that day, the members of the group had been a variety of Icelandic bands. Björk had the longest career out of any of the members. She had been performing since about age 11. By 1984, Björk, Einar Örn Benediktsson & Siggi Baldursson had joined forces with keyboardist Einar Melax, forming KULK (which means witchcraft in Icelandic). KULK was an noisy, artsy post-punk band that released several singles on the independent British record label Crass. Then that fateful day in June,1986 KUKL evolved into the Sugarcubes, adding Björk's then-husband Thor Eldon on guitar and Bragi Ólafsson on bass. 


 This offering is the early taped demos for Life’s Too Good. Early versions of key LTG tracks like "Birthday" & "Coldsweat" appear here, as well as a handful of unreleased tunes, like the busy "Leather" that should have been a contender for the album.

The Sugarcubes were: Björk – vocals & keyboards; her then-husband Þór (Thor) Eldon – guitar; Bragi Olafsson on bass; Einar Örn Benediktsson – trumpet & vocals; & Siggi (Sigtryggur) Baldursson – drums. 

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Tracklist:
Blue Eyed Pop
Traitor
Cat
Dragon
Birthday
Polo
Leather
Take Some Petrol Darling
Smokewell
Coldsweat
Fucking in Rhythm & Sorrow

Enjoy the journey,
NØ 
 

3 comments:

  1. Mezzoforte
    EXsRlmVImKY5wHAijS4V9G0zlM4FM4rWc01bEshV3LY
    Gone Postal
    MI9OmmnjbPp-g0FXV1Z--F0aX0ZXYnxnaMElsUmMCNc
    The Sugarcubes
    bd0kw1RPmX2HpmtBFmiT5CuLJCd90k-vhliNZW0xPo0

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow - Mezzoforte - I still have a couple of their LPs from the 1980's when I used to be penpals with a guy in Iceland who sent me 2 of their records. I really like their earlier stuff and am going to check out this post you made of their more recent stuff.

    Never heard of the Sugarcubes Life's Too Good Demos - very cool. Thanks for another interesting post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. to IHateThe90s,
    Thanks for the personal anecdote about Mezzoforte. The Sugarcubes demos are good. Glad you enjoyed the post. It's off to Norway next.

    ReplyDelete