What the hell, Jónbjörn? You thought you’d just sneak “Aspekte” past me this morning when it came up on my iPod, which was set to random. It’s true, I didn’t have the volume cranked so your plan almost worked. But there it was in the back of my mind, interacting with me at a subconscious level, something more base and old. The beats trigged it and I realized the track was playing in the other room. Which of course led me there as well, where I promptly switched from random to album mode and pushed play for [FALK DISKS 02] Isms so I could experience the whole thing start to finish, the way it was intended to be heard.
There’s something primal about the opening to “Amsiak”, the jungle music in the distance, the background a mechanical, almost sterile bass beat. It’s the ancient-planet-meets-the-modern-age, or maybe even one a little a few years into the future. By occasionally introducing a moment or two of dissonance with a brief, off-key guitar-sounding chord Jónbjörn ensures the listener doesn’t become overly comfortable. No trance for you! Keep your head in the game, man!
That brings us back to “Aspekte”, this time being played at the appropriate volume and sense of reverence. The beats have moved to a more jungle pace giving them a bit more warmth than they had on the last track, along with an increased pace and a dose of randomness. The dissonance is here too, but you don’t need it because the pace of this sucker is fast enough that you’re more likely to bust into a sweat from dancing around the room than fall into a groove-induced K-hole.
“Sunnudagskaffi” kicks it up another notch. The pace is getting relentless, the beats and the dissonance coming so close together now and zapping past you like the constant x-ray pulse of a quasar hitting you from hundreds of millions of light years away. It’s like a little spark plug to the base of the skull, a white-light shock that just keeps coming and coming and coming in rapid succession. We close out with “Holy B”, with a sound way in the background like that of a destroyer pinging a submarine with sonar in some old World War II move. But the drivers are the snares and hi-hats that serve as the constant element to the beat, at least until the second half of the song when a cycle of builds and drops take you across the finish line.
[FALK DISKS 02] Isms is an impressive release by Jónbjörn, one of the founders of Lagaffe Tales and a guy with plenty of electro-cred.
– Jeff Obermeyer