ulfur kolka borgaraleg cover
  1. Formáli
  2. Risinn Er Vaknaður
  3. Til Hvers Að Kjósa?
  4. Dagur Í Lífi Þínu?
  5. Bálið Í Róm
  6. Fjötrar
  7. Svínin Þagna
  8. Mótmælandi Íslands
  9. Helvíti Er Frosið
  10. Við Munum Öll...

I want you to protest

Fight the power. “Borgaraleg Óhlýðni” (translates as Civil Disobedience) is the first political hip-hop album in Icelandic music history. Úlfur Kolka is inspired by 80’s synthpop music and hip-hop groups such as Dead Prez and Public Enemy. He used to be frontman and emcee ‘Ciphah’ of the hip-hop posse Kritikal Mazz, founded back in 1997. In 2002 they released their debut album on the Smekkleysa record label. This album was nominated as ‘hiphop album of the year’ at the Radíó X and Undirtónar Music Awards in 2002. For almost a decade he worked as graphic designer and producer of a variety of Icelandic and foreign artists.

Three years after his album“ Human Error” (2011) with all lyrics in English and with material from the period 2003-2008, the Wolf is back. On “Borgaraleg Óhlýðni”, the lyrics are in Icelandic, but the samples are in English, referring to movies, books and politics. One man against the world in 10 songs: Úlfur Kolka is the Billy Bragg or the Siggi Pönk of Reykjavík’s hip-hop scene.  Iceland burns: songs about elections in “Til Hvers Að Kjósa?” (Why vote?), the banks in “Bálið Í Róm”, Helgi Hóseasson, the  country’s nr.1 protestor, in “Mótmælandi Íslands” (Protestor of Iceland), Dow Jones, … The riot police is already just around the corner in the opening speech, the preface “Formáli”: The punks are running wild in the street. Song II is “Risinn Er Vaknaður” (The Giant has awoken). There’s a shorter track inbetween: “Dagur Í Lífi Þínu?”(A day in your life?). Followed by the songs “Bálið Í Róm” (The bonfire in Rome) about banks and a song about economic slavery “Fjötrar” (Chains). We are the pigs in the Animal Farm track “Svínin Þagna” (Silence of the pigs), of course a reference to The Silence of the Lambs movie. Time to see the vet.  “Helvíti Er Frosið” (Hell is frozen) is the 2nd last track. It’s time to die in “Við Munum Öll…” (We will all…).

My favourite tracks are ‘Formáli”, “Svínin Þagna” and “Við Munum Öll…”. Although is the music is quite mainstream hip-hop, the messages are not so middle of the road, or should I say are friendly agitprop?

– Wim Van Hooste