Album Premiere: Orbit by Snorri Hallgrímsson [Moderna Records]

Snorri Hallgrímsson is a composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist from Reykjavík, Iceland. Originally starting out as a classical guitarist, he fell in love with film music during his teen years and, having secured a degrees in composition from both the Iceland Academy of the Arts and Berklee College of Music, his name is associated with a…

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Video Premiere: Offers of Peace by Elskavon

When Chris Bartels chose the name for his Elskavon project he formed a neologism from a pair of Icelandic words – elska meaning “love” and von meaning “hope”). It was not only a message he would weave into his compositions, but a nod in the direction of Sigur Ros, one of his key influences when…

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Video: Sorg Sea by Flying Hórses

Nearly two years after Tölt, the debut release of Montreal composer Jade Beregron’s solo project Flying Hórses, she returns in stunning form with an eleven-plus minute epic single called Sorg Sea. It is not that she has not been busy in the interim. Bergeron was invited to play Iceland Airwaves Music Festival in 2015 as well as…

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A Sense of Place: Ólafur Arnalds – Island Songs

Iceland’s dramatic landscape belies the island country’s relatively small footprint on the globe. Its breathtaking and mysterious beauty is inextricably woven into the music and literature of its people and draws travelers and artists from around the world like a siren call. But that is not the perspective of this magnificent place that Ólafur Arnalds seeks…

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Travelogue 2016.05.22: Sarah Louise / Kristin Thora Haraldsdottir [VDSQ]

Founded in 2009 by Steve Lowenthal, Vin Du Select Qualitite (VDSQ) is a specialized imprint with a keen focus on the acoustic guitar. As the name suggests, each album is like a choice wine of a lesser known variety that offer sublime pleasures to the open-minded listener. The label offers elegance without pretense and embraces its underground roots by fostering experimentation rather than…

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Hotel Neon – Remnants [Fluid Audio]

The Ring Road is route 1 through a wonderland, an 828 mile long circuit around the country of Iceland. It is also the setting and inspiration for a new album called Remnants by the ambient drone trio Hotel Neon, quite a contrast from the origins of their eponymous debut which was conceived and recorded in…

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Kiasmos – Looped [Erased Tapes]

Last year  Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen released the full length debut of their wonderful Kiasmos project on Erased Tapes, an absolutely intoxicating fusion of minimal piano and strings compositions with lush synths and techno flavored electronics.  In the spring of 2015, the label released Looped in a vinyl edition for Record Store Day. This  gem of an…

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Flying Hórses – Tölt

Flying Hórses is a Canadian modern classical duo consisting of Jade Bergeron on piano, wurlitzer, celesta, & music boxes and Raphael Weinroth-Browne on cello & electronics. Their debut album, Tölt, is lovingly referential to Iceland and was partially recorded on location there, but the objective was not to emulate the moody and melancholic soundscapes that association likely brings to mind. Their…

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Veronique Vaka – Erlendis [Moderna Records]

Erlendis means “abroad” in Icelandic, and that is just where cellist & composer Veronique Vaka finds herself both literally and metaphorically after studying electro-acoustic composition at the University of Montreal and receiving a grant from Canada Council of Arts for a mentorship in Iceland.  She has been involved in a number of projects over the…

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