In this interview, a intimate portrait of a genuine artist arrests you; Ryan is quiet and reserved, but also genuine and honest, speaking about life and the industry with an expressive, warm authenticity that never becomes simple commercial plugging. His set at Innipukinn was electrifying, brilliant. Torrents of nicely spaced out vocal and sample delays, arrangements that flourish and expand, that breathe a breath of fresh air into both the electronic and acoustic music scene in Reykjavík. The nuances to his sound, the strings, the processed drums, the elegiac timbre of Ryans voice makes this excellent, impressive music. I was almost embarrassed to write anything about his music, as the last thing I’d want to do is belittle it. It was lovely to speak with a man so devoid of pretense. Most likely the absence of narcissism will make him the darling of millions of listeners; he is the reluctant hero.
Courtesy of Jelena Schally
So what is “Weirdcore” for people who may not know?
It’sasdf like a lifestyle, people are with an open mind. Tanya Pollock, who started it, started in in 2005 or 6. Later, Biogen came into the Weirdcore scene and together they hosted some amazing parties for many years. It sadly went into hiatus when Biogen passed away in 2011. Now Tanya is bringing the spirit up again, and us who have been in the scene around Möller. Basically it’s one big family. Why did you decide to start Möller? Because me and Johan didn’t have a label to release stuff on. We wanted something for the people who go online. There was lots of cool music to download to get into before people go to a party.
Who have you signed recently?
Modesart. It’s like Mozart, but Modesart. He’s brilliant. He just released his new EP online. It’s really good. It’s like IDM, Electronica. We played together in Berlin.
How was Extreme Chill?
Extreme Chill was really fun. It was like an adventure for like, a small family. Meeting new people and stuff like that. It was my third time in Berlin in six months. I absolutely just fell in love with the city; so free spirited. I’m hopefully going again soon.
What is your gear like?
Two Yahama DX-7’s, they are my main workhorses. And then I have a Roland TR-626 drum machine. We have 606’s in Arni 2. There are also three Korg Volcas. Then, there is an Akai sampler and my vinyl collection.
How is Arni 2 different?
Me and Arni Valur having fun together. He has a solo project called “Mike Hunt” we are good friends and we just want to get together and do stuff, and people seem to like it.
What’s your favorite thing about the Innipukinn Festival?
Because it’s next door (laughs) and because I get to play with Borko and Megan is one of the hosts.
Whats your connection to her?
She ‘s a downtowner and a girl with an open mind. I like those kind of people.
Tell us about upcoming shows and releases?
Next week I’m supposed to play at Dillon on Thursday, but for sure we are playing at Ingolfstorg tomorrow. Next weekend we are playing in Hafnarfjordur. My next release is “Skynvera” which means “emotional being” which is being funded through the Karolina Fund. Now I’m going home to sleep (laughs)
Like Sisi, Börn had an incredible emotional intensity, and great makeup, too. They seemed like a band in need of publicity. They were quite tight. I liked them immensely. I sensed a real pain in Alexandra’s words.
Pink Street Boys
The most Icelandic band ever. The music produced a very Icelandic occasion. There were some fantastic chord progressions. They reminded me of the Pixies and the Butthole Surfers. The bass clanged and crunched.
Pure honesty. They don’t need a guitarist. Great shouting from Margrét. She has a good deal of technical dexterity on the bass guitar. If their were any musical mistakes, it made them better; more real. People know the lyrics. Fantastic vocals. It was pretty rockin’. Any more elements would be too much.
Borko & Futuregrapher
Got people moving. Live drums made for a nice choice. Crazy, furious dancing. Samba-like, at times almost like early Boards of Canada. So much flailing. It is fun music that got people going. Fun guys.
Avant. Psyklezmer. Extraordinarily technically talented. They deserve any ego-stroking praise singing. So technical that I didn’t know what was going on. I can’t detail on a technical level what they are doing as much as I can. They would make John Zorn proud. They have a punchy sound that is also reminiscent of Mr. Bungle. They utilized very interesting polyrhythms. Where did these people spawn from? It’s why I turned to punk…it’s just too fucking genre-crossing good. Great crowd participation. Distortion on some of the instruments was a nice touch. It is music for an ultra hip party.
Fucking rock. Live and and loud. Sheeeit. A stunned crowd. Very cool diminuendos. Technically marvelous. Singing to the crowd like a maniac. I like the rhythmic changes. We have all been waiting for a band like this. Noise in, noise, noise. It’s like listening to Nirvana’s Radio Friendly Unit Shifter for an entire set. Awesome.
Dub, RVK style. Great guitar playing, I must say. Very convincing sonically. Scientist would be proud. The bass is spot on. I love dub.
Loji’s voice is ethereal, whimisical. He sings songs from the heart, and his performance connected with the crowd in a respectful, reserved manner. He apparently has been greatly influenced by the avant-garde, and to his credit it seems to be working for him. The music he makes demands attention, and he got it. It was nice to have him open the set at Húrra.
Squarepusher like. Com Truise at times. Dubstep.
The music cascades in and out, like live drums. This man produces culture. He has dynamic dance moves, swaying and sliding. His show had a good turn out. The sound burns, and is crisp. Springy arps are spectacular. Yeah Yeah Yeah is in his face. The music attacks like a slung blade. I like how it sways in and out. At moments I was reminded of Homogenic by Björk. He truly is the Aphex Twin of Reykjavík. People were made happy in sad, rainy RVK, and a respectable audience made it happen.
DJ Myth and Lazybones
Always put on a great show. I love how they sway together. Great sounds.
Tanya and Marlon
Tanya’s vocals soar. “Isis” truly is a great track. It reminds me of Tycho and Apparat. It’s like they created “The theory of cultural production” and have self-generated their own scene. 909s? It’s on. Bursting, beautiful music.
Downbeat. Relaxed. Emoting pure sex. Double tracked vocals and organs are simply beautiful. She reminded me of Cat Power. Nice overdriven vibrato guitar. There’s a simple beauty to her music. It just…sucks you in. She has great talent. Very, very talented.
Benni Hemm Hemm
What fun covers. ABBA rules. Something very stoic, fisherman like about this performance, very Icelandic. Nothing ironic about this. Super Trouper! Mamma Mia! I’m in musical heaven. Sonically they were precise. Great fun. Packed house. Humble vocals, and an emotional version of The Winner Takes It All. Lighters! What a gripping performance.
Flailing hands, saxophonist! Reminded me of Jimmy Cliff’s band. It was nice reggae complimenting yesterday’s dub.
Very, very well dressed. Akin to Yazoo. I like the backup singers, and the beautiful minimalism of their beats. Their DJ donned a French warrior’s outfit. I loved the synchronized chorus effect. I’ve heard that last track before…wait. They did this song?! “Ain’t Got Nobody?” Holy shit. Love it. Hands were in the air…a great way to end the night.
A band that keeps on growing, building, exploring. They seem tighter than when I saw them at ATP. They were fucking awesome, as usual
Distortion and bongos. I liked the glasses of the singer. Great vocal harmonies. Great dancing. Cool MC. Moments reminded me of “Touch The Sky” by Kanye West.
Markús & The Diversion Sessions
Staggering, simple fun. Melancholia. Something about them reminds me of the Velvets. Markús emotes. Behind him is an organ, and in combination with his voice, an honesty resounds. The vibe pedal on his guitar is a very cool added element. I loved the tracks “Now I Know” and “Sweet Nothing”. I was reminded of Sun Kil Moon and Richmond Fontaine. This is last call, closing time moon. Great riffs, truly. I love the directness of his lyrics. Great howls. He seems like a guy who might have struggled at some point to hold it together, like an Icelandic Townes Van Zandt, maybe and that’s why I like him so much. Check out this interview I conducted with him.
Photo courtesy of Saga Sig
She filled the house up. Eclectic, eccentric sounds. A golden voice. She stares into the abyss, into her melodies, into our hearts. People are sitting, understanding, enjoying. Her delicate fingerpicking percolated through the room. Her vocal melodies are so tasteful, so beauteous. Please play here more often, dear. As well, please enjoy this interview I conducted with her. It’s hilarious how much information I got wrong at the beginning, but it ends up being a detailed, pleasant conversation… It’s good, trust me
Boogie Trouble & Soffía Björg
Tight as shit. Nice to see Soffía working with other bands. Like listening to Kid Creole in the early 80’s in New York. Pure funk. Tight as a rivet. Fun wah guitar drenched everything. When was the last time you heard of fun wah outside of a chinese restaurant? Ha. Ha. ha.
Megas and Grísalappalísa
This music is a hurricane; this music. This music simply sounds different. I don’t understand the lyrics, but I know that is music is astonishingly good. There is some serious cultural capital here. I saw a crowd surfer! In reserved Iceland! Fucking…incredible. The band was just on point. Megas…how is a guy who just stands there so awesome? So much sweat was exuded. Even the speakers shook. Young and old were in attendance. Towards the end of the set, they incorporated elements of Paranoid by Sabbath, Bombtrack by RATM, Ode To Joy by Beethoven, and even Partýbær by HAM. Just rocking. Glitteratti singer. The birdcage. James Chance rockabilly. So many leather jackets. This is phenomenally good. Sweeping melodies. Anthemic. So much excitement. The band was genuinely excited to be playing with him. Great minimalistic staccato. They gave people their money’s worth. Bursting sax…so tight. Sprawling guitarwork. Surreal lyrics. Maybe the best show I’ve seen in Iceland. A slice of Salami was on the wall.
Shades of Reykjavík
Trap like. Raucous flow. Terrorists with verses. A good troupe. I like the samples. One of those times I knew Icelandic. Detuned vocals. Thug life, Icelandic style. Pretty intense beats. Harmonious.
Excellent fashion. I like the screams, the double vocals, the sunglasses, the avant-garde samples.
Huge turnout, as expected. Sunna Ben on the turntables, how adoreable! Fun filled. Pretty awesome to watch them in the dark under crazy beaming lights.
Kött Grá Pje
A more challenging listen at first, they seemed like guys you’d want to have a beer with. A very honest rap group. I sensed a taste of dubstep, and Iceland is immune to dubstep, it seems. Aheybaró is amazing.