Sometimes hearing is believing

Ruddinn was once a solo project of einzelgänger Bertel Ólafsson. Today he teams up with vocalist Heiða Eiríksdóttir (Unun, Hellvar, heidatrubador) to produce some more electronical music in his studio in suburbia Hafnarfjörður.

On this fourth Ruddinn album, “More music than music” (Möller Records), every song is dominantly driven by the chrystal clear vocals of Heiða. The long player has a more mature feel than the previous releases, “Ruddinn” (2006), “2” (2008) and “I need a vacation” (2012). The latest sounded like Unun was attending an eighties Britpop party with The Human League, New Order and Pet Shop Boys, remixed by the GusGus of the ‘90s.

The opener “Invisible world” reminds me of the best of U2. The title track oscillates around the sun setting at the horizon. You can pump up the volume in “Chrome like mirror”. The sun always shines on “Gullna ströndin” (The Golden Beach), the only song in Icelandic.

“Lovely day” has a more melancholic feel. “Notice tomorrow” is travelling by the speed of light. Here today, tomorrow next week.

The song “Organic” is a bit darker from the outside. In “Out of my mind” the male and female vocals are blended together. Party animals of all kind are welcome to “Party like a local”. Neither a fata morgana, nor a Trompe-loeil: “What you see is what you get”. “Where does it all lead from here” is a kind of a philosophical road to nowhere. Cogito ergo sum, I think, therefore I am.

On “More music than music”, the duo creates a wonderful wall of bits, bytes, beats & beeps. Bertel + Heiða has become a consistent duet and this partnership is walking hand in hand on a new trail in the forest. No Mr Smith needed to guide. Ruddinn never fails to impress. You’ll be hooked on this record.

– Wim Van Hooste

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