Some might call this heaven, by Chris Sea
A building, burning anticipation of excitement surrounds me….it’s growing darker outside, but day holds on. It’s a bit rainy, a bit misty. “Selfoss” by GusGus is on my ipod… an electronic track that is anticipation incarnate. I’m waiting on the queue outside of the blue lagoon with a new friend- Dan from Chicago, who has stayed after Solstice flamed out, but like me finds himself wanting an afterburn. Somehow we have both managed to find our way to what I didn’t know then would be one of the best shows I’ve seen in Iceland. As we chatted, a few pulsing beats from soundcheck rippled through the hallway. Majesty would come cresting in, soon.
After we took our showers and readied ourselves with bjór and silica, all the while conversing about the land we’ve left behind, we discussed our new residence – Reykjavík, right here and now. We splattered the ever stilling water and chatted with locals, taking in the simple beauty of the environ. We were surrounded by beauty – the beauty the chill of the air against the cragging Icelandic moonscape, the beauty of the blue tones, the beauty in bodies and beats.
So many smiling faces – so many jaws dropping in aw. What i saw was nearly unreal – as if I were living in Paradise-Electronica. The crowd emoted so subtly, along with the gentle currents, laughing, dancing and grooving in concert with the sound. this music is perfect for this occasion, I thought. subtlety, like boards of canada, brian eno or apparat. a fit.
Photos via: Gabrielle Motola
Behind the stage were DJ Margeir and President Bongo… with the latter photographing all of us. Rightly so – this occasion won’t be forgotten. Gluteus Maximus created in their own way a contained, physical manifestation of what it is like to arrive in this country for the first time – an esoteric joy that only a select few in world history have experienced, and here i was, with my new friends.
Gluteus traversed through tracks like “kid” gracefully, vocoding the sounds of a futurescape reminiscent of Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick and Stanley Kubrick. Bongo’s words emanated sex. Margeir’s minimalistic sonic pallete is what is necessary here; notes and phrases devoid of pretense. A crushing tidal wave that saturated every aspect of the complex. Then out came Daniel. His voice soared, a brilliant alto, bringing everything to life. The reverie he ushered in was Dionysian. I was amazed by how such a small group of people, black clad, in a tent, were able to jolt me to life.
Ásdís used her voice with with skill and precision, transfixing, cavorting on stage with a beaming intensity. Högni serenaded us, as he always does, singing from his heart, showering us in romance and sex. so, so everlasting a feeling.
I felt love all around. Passion was present everywhere. Do many faces lost in ecstasy. The mass dancing in rhythm, playing in step to the groove; couples embracing each other, the turquoise sky and effacing sun, I motioned for Dan to come over. I said to him quietly, “some might call this heaven.” in some many ways it was, Margeir and his friends evinced a night in Eden. the colors, the feelings, the energy. all of it. Present and accounted for.
Dan and I parted ways. I showered, went home, and reflected:
My god…it was real. Happiness was real.