dj. flugvél og geimskip | Our Atlantis
Geertruida Records (LP/DL)
What has been described as “electronic horror music from outer space” is Icelandic musician dj. flugvél og geimskip‘s work, and she’s (Steinunn Eldflaug Harðardóttir) just getting warmed up! Oh, if you don’t believe me, you can click here for a related game of loops (PC/Mac compatible). Her moniker literally translates to “Airplane and Spaceship” after all, so up, up and away we go! It’s a futuristic vision of our world from a very personal perspective, but one that may easily get you on board with vivid animated passages that will make you think twice. It’s jazz, it’s techno, it’s hipster, it’s low-brow, it’s a second distant cousin of The Knife, it’s a mosh-pit of a mash-up.
“…the music on the record ties together the vastness and splendour of space, the mysterious depths of the ocean, and the freedom to form our own opinions on the world around us. We are constantly surrounded by different ideas of what is the ideal way of life, but it is good to have in mind that we have a choice….”
The album opens with The Sphinx (which was actually released a few years ago), and serves to set the tone for the album. With a blend of Middle Eastern-cum-cosmic tonalities and vocal manipulations that are girly, friendly, light and frothy. Take a look at the way takes a ride on an animated sphinx cut-out, then performs these silly multi-dancer moves (ala Beyonce, or Jane Fonda workout etc.). It pokes fun at everything, including itself, while still managing to maintain a mesmerizing tunefulness. It’s a carnival-ride aesthetic on a lava lamp budget – and it proves how far you can take an idea, just short of overkill. It’s eye-popping.
DOUBLE TAKE: Elsewhere the beats turn to computerized snakecharmer rhythms and pre-programmed glossyness, and the colorful themes are fairly consistent. I love the silkiness of Harðardóttir‘s voice, and it’s a perfect marriage for the nya-nya-nya Gameboy riffs (Ryðgadi heimurinn).There are several references to old school arcade games peppered throughout but on Apocolypse the pong-like paddle beat plays as a perfect foil to the sweet vocal taunting and whistle-while-you-work attitude here. And though there’s a lot of extended play(fulness) this ceases to have a boring bone in its body, likely the stickler may be the pounding on LET GO! which has some in common with latter day Yoko Ono in terms of vocal delivery and vague semblances of the lost years of Devo. Yes, it’s a perfectly weird combination of punch and circumstance.
This is the poppiest record I’ve heard in a long haul that has the least probability to be sandwiched in a typical radio set ‘tween Taylor Swift and Pharrell, yet is ten times more charming. It’s energetic and bright, and like the first time I played The Sugarcubes way back in the day, defers back and forth from Icelandic to English fairly fluidly – and though I don’t understand a single word of he native language, the matter of the literal means quite little in this work of pure fantasy.