Published May 15, 2014Released on Canadian label Yatra-Arts, Höfnin Hljómar is a carefully curated compilation of contemporary Icelandic electronic music. The 14-track release takes us on a 70-plus-minute guided tour of the avant and electronic underground in Iceland, ranging from Gjöll's riff-heavy "The Harbour V2" through the atmospheric, industrial drone of Björk Viggósdóttir's "Reverse" to Inside Bilderberg's dance floor oriented "Administrating I."
The influence of Pan Sonic and Mika Vainio runs strongly through the compilation, as does the influence of late '80s and early '90s industrial/EBM, most notably on Reptilicus' "It's Lovely To Be Appreciated." Elsewhere, Auxpan's "Trade Intensity" shares some kinship with U.K. noosewave, and Jónas Sen's "Mephisto" mines the same icy, prog-inspired techno as underground Finnish producer Ukkonen. Höfnin Hljómar is a solid collection of moody, compelling compositions and a must for anyone interested in the budding resurgence in dark, industrial, quasi-techno forms, experimental noise and drone and the current Icelandic music scene. (Yatra Arts)