Following up on Sigur Rós, I went to their website, dug up some history and purchased their back catalogue.
I was indeed astounded when the discs arrived in mymailbox on Monday from Iceland. The music blew me away beyond anythingI had heard in a while. I haven't been this excited about a band for along time. Translated as "Victory Rose," Sigur Rós released theirsecond full-length album, 'Ágætis byrjun' last year (third if youinclude the Remix album released in 1998). The album shot to #1 intheir native country and will be released in July through Fat-Cat inthe UK. The disc exceeds 70 minutes and with 9 lush songs and a fewinbetween bits, the music moves and flows incredibly, with a stunningproduction and intricate arrangement. Time passes in a heartbeat and atthe end, I've hit play again many times. Arrangements on most of thesongs include brass, strings and even choral arrangements alongside theguitars, organs, drums, vocals and electronics. All words are writtenand sung in an Icelandic (and Hopelandish), but the heavy emotions canbe felt. Included are both 'Svefn-g-englar,' 'Viðar vel tl loftárasa,'and 'Ný batterí,' all from the Fat-Cat EPs reviewed here two weeks ago
. Intense and incredible.
'Von' is the first full-length album. It's rather rough compared to thelatest album, in both production and performance. This is not, howevera disappointing album. The songs are still intense and can at times bestunningly beautiful. The disc opens with a silent rumbling thunder,builds slowly, kicking and screaming along the way to an incredibleintensity and then cools off. At times the music can be remeniscent ofsome of the lush guitar alterna-pop 80s bands. Simpler audio tricks areplayed on the album with pitch and backwards tape threading. It'sendearing to say the least. One bone to pick however is the last track,which is entirely silent for over 6 minutes and then breaks into abackwards version of another track off the disc. Not bad really, whenyou consider including that, the disc tops 72 minutes. Von was releasedin 1997 in a nifty purple jewel case, and features 12 songs entirely inIcelandic.
Following the release of Von, the music got a reworking. "Recycle Bin"features electronic intensive reworks by fellow countrymen Mum, Biogen,Plasmic, Dirty-Bix, Curver, Thor, Hassbræður, Gus Gus and Sigur Rós.There's a little bit of jittery cut up, a taste of drum and bass, andsome big chunky beats as well. However, not for one moment do youforget this is indeed a Sigur Rós record. The lush choral and stringsbleed through the punchy remixes, making this a fine remix album, notto be passed up. All three of these full-length CDs can be ordereddirectly from their label with secure transactions at www.badtaste.dk
.With shipping it averages about $20 per CD, which ain't so bad for theimports. GO REWARD YOURSELF TODAY! YOU'VE BEEN GOOD!!! The Sigur Róswebsite, full of pictures and loads more sound samples is at www.sigur-ros.com
samples:For more sound samples, check out the review a couple weeks ago.