Grapevine Airwaves 2012

November 1, 2012

Extreme Chillin’

Trouble by Aníta Eldjárn

Music Overview

I arrived on M-Band’s first or second song. Atmospheric and dreamy, featuring a Moroder-esque bass sequencer. The difference between his tunes is defined by degrees of bass drum aggression while he lays on some hazy alto tenor vocals on top. Beautiful is obviously what he is going for, and that is what we get. There were instances where I felt the beat strategy and the melody didn’t complement one another, but that’s only if you want to nitpick. It’s not common for an opening act at a festival such as this to receive so much applause and attention from the audience, but we all loved what he was doing. I get the feeling he has just a little more growing to do but, again just nitpicking. I liked M-Band.

M.band at Faktory by Aníta Eldjárn

What I love about Jafet Melge is how you sense how experienced he is when it comes to industrialized dark ambient. Gradual transmissions from soundscapes to merciless thump attacks that gradually attack harder. There is a constant underlying (not really aggression but what it comes from) agitation in his set. It surfaces, but for the most part it comes out either attacking or barely stifled in the end of segment, and all of this is wonderfully entwined with some nice backdrop videos. Towards the end I am told that the whole set is one piece, composed to commemorate the tragic accident when the Russian Oscar-II nuclear submarine K-141 Kursk was lost with all hands on August 12th 2000. It somehow all made sense after hearing that.

Amongst the up and coming electronic noise experimentalists, Trouble is one of the few who knows what she is doing. She mixes subtle beat loops with treated sine waves on top of a gut trembling drone. It is all masterfully done in its elegance. I don’t know if the intention is to paint a some kind of soundscape, I personally dislike that kind of description, but what I get from Trouble is a full spectrum sound. I don’t want to say “wall” either. It is a sound that gives both the feeling of drone you feel in the soles of your feet while high, and mid-range frequencies provide texture in perfect ratio. Missing puzzles from different images arranged to a new image to make unexpected sense.

I had a conversation with a colleague just before Prince Valíum‘s name would be cooler if the last name would be “Volume”. But after listening for a few minutes I knew it wouldn’t have been a correct description. I can’t really say I care for this. Pretty basic beats with synth melodies that don’t really go anywhere. Background music to fill the awkward silences between strangers in enclosed room vertical moving devices. Except for the times he played straight up infomercial tunes. The audience applauded politely. I clapped slowly and a sarcastically.

DJ Andre is what the name suggests. He understands that his purpose is to get people dancing, and he makes it his objective. He transformed Faktorý into a club, Sure, people were chatting and paying much attention, but with rhythm. Nodding of heads, walking across the floor, shaking of the moneymakers. It is the feel that matters in nightclubs, and it is moulded by the music. That’s where he excels.

Beatmakin Troopa has grown with his latest release. The woodwind is still there but he’s the only guy around who makes a clarinet sound cool. Lounge music is for me a dangerous path to follow if you want to innovate, but there are some who expand the boundaries. Outside the box sometimes means a larger box.. There are still surprises to be found within.

Tonik shares members with bands like M-Band from before and Enkídú, also from before, but downstairs. M-Band shows off his vocal abilities along with some really impresive pedal work. Cello and saxophone provide fantastic textures on top of the house beats. They became my favorite of the evening very quickly and a band like that is best judged by it audience, whether people move by the music or not. Tonik moved us all.

Samaris by Magnús Elvar Jónsson

You can dance to Samaris. But you’ll stick to the same rythm the whole time. Don’t get me wrong though. They never get boring or same-y. they’re quick to set the atmosphere and stick to it. I’ve never seen them live before, but I’ve been hearing some mixed reviews about them and honestly I don’t really get where the hate comes from. Sure they’re not the most original band around but what they do, they do well. I was impressed.



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Aðalsteinn Jörundsson





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