Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Made In Iceland

Iceland is obviously known musically for Bjork (and The Sugarcubes) and to a lesser degree Gus Gus but did you know there's far more than just those two artists on that tiny island? It's true. Really. In fact, there is a thriving music scene there and the Made In Iceland series is out to serve as the Rough Guide to this burgeoning scene. Now up to it's sixth installment, the series has brought many artists out of the ice and into the spotlight to thaw out.

About half way through this compilation and one thing is for sure Iceland is way more than just Bjork. Made In Iceland features nineteen artists playing artpop, chilled house, hip hop and even alt-country. Who knew that such a small island could be home to such a diverse scene? Well kiddo, they do and although several of the artists have unpronounceable names their songs are anything but unapproachable. In fact, a vast majority of Made In Iceland VI is excellent stuff and the fact that there are six volumes of this series should speak to how large and successful the scene up there really is.

While Made In Iceland highlights the diversity of talent in Iceland from one corner to the next it becomes glaringly obvious throughout this compilation that they are truly the masters of cool electronica. They just get it, they know how to write it and they create songs that are chilled to beaty perfection. Perhaps it's a reflection of their environment or their isolation but these guys are the masters of icy cool and I don't mean that in a bad way. Retro Stefson, Hjaltalin, Bloodgroup and Asonat all make impressive appearances here and they left me wanting to hear more...or at least book a flight to Reykjavik.

Made In Iceland is an awesome exploration of an island not often thought of as a musical hotbed. This is a brilliant introduction to a thriving music scene that's diverse, intriguing, cool, and far from ordinary. This little tourist guide to the island is well worth hunting down and spending some time with even if it isn't in the land of ice and snow.

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