Photo: Presse (Exos)
Every Icelandic artist will have to endure the same old question at some point in their career: Why does so much good music come out of Iceland? While the answers to that question vary, it’s certainly justified to wonder how such a relatively small and remote island can produce so many lively independent musical scenes. In favour of its vibrant Indie community and megastars like Björk or Sigur Rós, Iceland’s Techno scene is often overlooked. Arnvidur Snorrason is one of the artists who made a name for himself outside of Iceland. Several of the records he has released under the Exos moniker were put out by Germany’s legendary Force Inc. and just recently he has debuted on London’s Bliq. After his My Home Is Sonic LP was re-issued in 2015 through Delsin, Snorrason’s career took yet another turn with Nina Kraviz including one of his tracks on her own Trip imprint’s latest compilation Sleep Not Found and booking her close friend for this year’s Rave In The Cave party in, well, a cave three hours outside of Reykjavik. With a new release on the pivotal Icelandic record label Thule just out and his Downgarden tour currently ongoing, Exos still found the time to list his 10 Icelandic all time favourites for Groove.
10. Flow.Machine – Class Of ’96
The first Dub Techno record I heard from Iceland. I heard this played in the legendary Drum’n’Bass radio show in Iceland. They had this one show only Icelandic music and they started the show with this one. This EP is one of the most undiscovered diamond from Iceland and of course its the mighty thunder god and the founding father of Thule records, Thor, who made it.
9. Fishcake – The Sound Of Thule
I never liked the name of this one but the track list is beautiful. It has a track of all the very first Thule records artist that started on the label. My favorite track on this album is the first one, the one by Plastic, now known as Yagya. It also has a track from Biogen (Aez), Sanasol, Oz artists and myself. Be aware of Fishcake 2, coming soon.
Now the name got a little better from the last one, Malt is one of the most national and native drinks in Iceland so why not name a whole Minimal album after it. This is album is a glorious follow-up to the first Fishcake album so the sound of Thule continues. Now the new artist shine on this one, such as Ohm, Den Nard Husher, and Octal, who is actually my father. And of course he has my favorite track on this album. A track called „Heavier Petting“.
7. Biogen – Eternalizer
Known as the father, and the greatest pioneer and of the Icelandic electronic music scene, Biogen had indescribable influences of the electronic culture in Iceland. I will never forget his live sets in late 1999 when his album Eternalizer came out. The best live performance I have witnessed.
6. President Bongo – Serengeti
The first solo album of President Bongo is with out a doubt the best Icelandic album of 2015. After I had a listen, it left me with allot of questions regarding the production and it’s clear that it’s not made in the typical way of electronic music making. The feeling is very live, organic and unique. The outcome is a magical journey not to be missed.
5. Bjarki – Б
Bjarki is capable of making everything from melodic Ambient to pounding Techno. In this album he shows us whats has been going on in his head for the past months. The next release from him will have something complete different.
4. Octal Industries – Himinglæva / Meeting Of The Waves
Octal Industries aka Ruxpin is known as being the Mozart of the electronic music scene in Iceland. With more than 10 albums in the past, it’s hard to choose one but I can’t resist the beautiful Ambient intro on this one. Takes me straight to heaven. To see Ruxpin live is truly amazing and getting change to see watch how he makes and been able to work with him is privilege. Ruxpin is also one of the strongest member of Thule Records and releases music under the name Den Nard Husher.
3. Yagya – Will I Dream During The Process
Everything by Yagya is defined. He has made 6 albums in a very dreamy direction, beautiful and floating. His music is very healing and creates a special mood every time you play it. This album is one of my favorites by Yagya. Sounds adventurous as well.
2. Thor – Consequences
Now this release is too good to be true. Basically it includes Thor’s greatest hits. Minimal classics like „Aliens Don’t Boogie“ and „Good Day“ along with the best of Oz Artists (Thor and Yagya) are on this album. Catching up with some of Thors masterpieces, it’s here.
1. Exos – My Home Is Sonic
My home is sonic.