Featuring: Zebra Katz, Kitty Von-Sometime, Frosti Gnarr, Lord Pusswhip,
Charlotte Sohm and Dýrfinna Benita
Photos courtesy of Flores Axel Böðvarsson. Theme song for the episode: Oceanic Date by Lord Pusswhip. Hello, and welcome to Tónmatur.
We decided to select Ósushi TheTrain as our featured dinner this evening. This is simply due to the fact that a friend brought over some of their food to my house a few weeks ago and ever since I’ve been craving for another taste. This was a delightful start to the festivities; the meal was succulent and savory, filled with a thousand delights to satisfy each sensation. Drenched in soy and smothered in wasabi, these dishes were big hits with the dinner guests. The crunch of the fried shrimp and tender chicken won’t soon be forgotten. We ordered:
Nr. 22 Sushi partyplate
9 x maki with crispy chicken.
8 x maki with avocado / salmon
12 x small maki with salmon
12 x small maki with avocado
Nr. 19 Hot Party Plate
10x volcano rolls (deep fried maki with surimi)
10x maki shrimp tempura
5x tiger prawn tempura
5x deepfried squid
We complemented our dish with wasabi, sweet chilli soy and sauce, as well as ginger.
Check out Osushi TheTrain
Of course we couldn’t just eat. Now, I’m fully aware of Zebra Katz’s collaboration with Ben Aqua:
So we definitely needed a couple of bottles of that. I also brought along a case of Somersby and…and…that Prince of Liqours, Tópas, in hopes that we could get Zebra to try some (he didn’t.) It was a fine occasion, just the same, albeit a crazy, hectic one. Why? Because I have no idea what I’m doing, that’s why, and it’s exciting! Well, that’s not entirely true. I made up the idea for the whole show last Friday, and have been conceptualizing it while I work at my proper job as a cleaner in Reykjavík, which up until a few days ago, was a 90% affair. It really is funny to see the Reykjavík artistic community witness me scrubbing floors. It’s like a sort of proletarian vindication, or something.
The guests were cordial, funny, witty, and most importantly, relaxed. The key to why this show worked was because everyone knew one another, and everyone was interesting.
“Fresh on the scene and he’s already taken the fashion and hip hop worlds by storm! Pulling from a multimedia and performance art background, Zebra Katz brings a slo-mo dark delivery to his rhymes, which are set over a minimal, unencumbered beat on his highly acclaimed first single “IMA READ” (Mad Decent/Jeffrrees). “IMA READ” was heralded as the “Official Song of Paris Fashion Week” after Rick Owens personally chose it to score his Fall/Winter Womenswear runway show. Since its release three months ago, the hauntingly sexy video has been viewed on YouTube nearly a million times (as of October 1 2012) and ZK has been featured in the NY Times’ New Music and Fashion and Style sections, Pitchfork, Vogue, Interview Magazine, and myriad other magazines and blogs. Zebra Katz is the capstone creation of 25 year old New York multidisciplinary artist Ojay Morgan. Inspired by Nina Simone, Andre 3000, Missy Elliot, James Blake, and Lauryn Hill.,Morgan has cultivated a signature and unique presence all his own. Having shared the stage with artists from Diplo to The Scissor Sisters, Lana Del Ray and Azealia Banks, his lives shows are not to be missed, and have been enjoyed by audiences worldwide.” -Taken from Zebra’s Facebook page.
Commentary: I picked Zebra Katz as our first international artist, and I think he was an excellent choice. One thing that you could say is very necessary to keep the vitality of the Icelandic music scene fresh is to consider outsider perspectives. Zebra was quick witted, intelligent and on point, making for a great guest.
Kitty Von Sometime
“I take what is in my head and make it real. I am a child born of the emerging digital world and have a continual hunger to record what I do compulsively in digital form. My existence is a drop in the ocean, the documentation forms the ripples.
My inspiration comes from childhood dreams, from synchronicity, from freeing those from their own constraints and a personal obsession with spandex. I proactively involve those outside of art to become art, to live art, to feel art. Those who are entangled in what I do, what I make, are often completely unknown to me before we merge ourselves together.
Undercurrents of female empowerment run deep, specifically with regard to the female form but come secondary to creating visual imagery that envelops the viewer in a candyland, making their mouths water – summoning without them knowing why there is a sudden desire to come out to play.
I have not studied art and am unaware what is standard. The more I create the more I want to.”
Source: Kitty’s blog.
Commentary: I picked Kitty because of her prominence in the scene and excellent Weird Girls Project, which I first discovered after watching Ghostigital’s video for Hovering Hoover Skates. Since that time, I learned that she’s worked with artists such as FM Belfast, Emiliana Torrini, GusGus and CROOKERS Like Zebra, Kitty really has a quick wit when talking, and one thing you’ll notice is how she is able to steer a conversation.
(right on photo)
“Together with his business director Giuseppe Russo, Frosti combines the running of his creative design company Frosti Gnarr Studio with being editor in chief of Grotta Zine. This magazine and web platform about Icelandic visual arts has gained enormous popularity and currently has more than 100,000 online subscribers. Alongside this work, Frosti has been teaching in Breiðholt College and the Iceland Academy of the Arts for the past two years. He is a graduate of the Iceland Academy of The Arts (Graphic Design, 2009) and Hogeschool Voor De Kunsten (Masters In Editorial Design, 2011) and plays drums with the band Captain Fufanu.”
Commentary: Frosti was definitely a more reserved guest on this program, but I can only imagine how many dull questions he has had to answer in the last five years. I was happy to have him on the program because he’s a really cool guy, and knows the art politics of Reykjavík better than anyone I can think of.
“Produced for Antwon, Th@ Kid, Metro Zu, Prada Mane + more “Þórður Ingi Jónsson, aka Lord Pusswhip, has been making a name for himself recently with his trademark mashing together of heavy beats, skittering samples and mischievous loops. He made the Grapevine news in 2013 when he used a performance at Iceland’s American Embassy to stage an impromptu comedy routine that included some one-liners about the Edward Snowden controversy, and has been increasingly prolific on Soundcloud, where you can stream a mixture of his tracks, remixes and DJ sets.” “The beats he raps over are rolling waves of ambient sound and codeine-coated darkwave boom-bap. If El-P had a mutant kid brother, this is what his music might sound like.”
Source: The Reykjavik Grapevine.
Commentary: I picked Þórður because he’s a good friend of mine. He kindly let us use his place for the production and even help put some of it together. His music is awesome and deserves far more attention. Check out the first show to see what I mean.
Charlotte has worked for an Icelandic festival in Paris, Air d’Islande, held by the Embassy of Iceland in France, for the last five years. Air d’Islande is in partnership Icelandair, Iceland Airwaves, Promote Iceland and Iceland Music Export, to name a few organizations.
Source: Air d’Islande.
Commentary: Charlotte is in the unique position of working with Iceland abroad, and the information she has is a great resource for anyone looking to work with Icelandic artists on the Continent. She’s also really funny.
Dýrfinna Benita Garðarsdóttir/Basalan is born June 14th 1992 in Iceland and is half Icelandic, half Filipino. Her father Garðar Hafsteinn Björgvinsson a former fisherman, boat builder and mechanic is Icelandic (Raufarhöfn) and her mother Bryndís Bonifacia Tagam Basalan is from the Philippines (Cebu, Toledo City).
▪ Fall 2008. Began Fine art studies @ Breiðholt College (Reykjavík, Iceland).
▪ Summer 2010. Architecture course @ The Reykjavík School of Visual Art.
▪ 2011. 2x exhibitions @Gallerý Crýmó: (1.) “FULL “(Video art) (2.) “FOOD” (Performance)
▪ Summer 2011. Travelled with graffiti group in (project “Litahringurinn”) through Icelands countryside, making street art/graffiti in little communities.
▪ Winter 2012. Group exhibition “BLACK/WHITE” in Artíma Gallerý. (Ink Drawings on A3 titled “FEMME INDIVIDUELLE”) Curated by Alexander Jean Edvard le Sage de Fontenay.
▪ Spring 2012. Graduated with Stúdentspróf in Fine Art from Fjölbrautaskólinn í Breiðholti. (Final Project – Sculpture titled: “SELF PORTRAIT”)
▪ Spring 2013. Artist of the week @ Kunstchlager Gallerý
▪ Fall 2013. Group exhibition titled: “HÁFLÆÐI/HIGH TIDE” @ Harpa/The Harp Culture Hall of Reykjavík. – The exhibit featured paintings. (“VÁ”, “HÆTTA”, “TORTRYGGNI” and “AÐ BERJA ÚT Á DAUÐAN SJÓ” Ink and Acrylic paint on Canvas 140m x 140m)
▪ 2014. “The 365 Project Iceland” – 365 Page Calendar. ▪ Summer 2014. “To be (Taking my life so seriously)” @ Dusted Gallerý. Featuring 12x A5 Drawings.
▪ Fall 2014. Begining Bachelor (B.A.) studies in Art at Gerrit Riteveld Academy. Amsterdam, Netherlands.
▪ 2015. “The 365 Project Iceland” – 365 Page Calendar.”
Source: Her Facebook artist page.
Commentary: Dýrfinna is a good friend who speaks her mind. Aside from her own art and modeling, she works with Lord Pusswhip and the results are proving to make her almost the reluctant hero of the dinner table. Her input adds a nice contrast to the conversation, as she selectively decides when to interject with precision.
Anyway – It’s been a week of telephone tag, Facebook messaging, running around and stressing, but the final result I believe was well worth it. My sincerest kudos goes to Þórður Ingi Jónsson for letting us film in his house and helping set up the event (without me even asking him to do so), as well as ROK’s new photographer, Flores Axel Böðvarsson, for providing what I think most people would agree to be an excellent set of images. As for what comes next – the next step is attracting attention. I’m going to contact visir.is, mbl.is, Iceland Review and the Reykjavík Grapevine for help getting this off the air to become a real television program either online or over terrestrial channels. I think people would find it interesting.
– Chris Sea