In Living Rooms, Homes, Beautiful Music as a Ritual: Olafur Arnalds; Matthew Flook; Free

For centuries, music was something made in a living room, made at home. It was a brief fluke of the 20th Century that music came out of a heroic process in a hidden-away studio. But if the gold-plated, magical record is threatened, some artists are trying to bring the daily ritual of home music making back. Ólafur Arnalds and Matthew Flook are each making gorgeous, cinematic-ambient tracks, and each have made projects that involve doing so on a regular basis in their homes. Let’s listen. Arnalds has been making some of the finest scores anywhere, and now has earned the …

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Crisp Beats from Iceland’s Magnoose, Free to Download, with Videos

Is anyone in Iceland not a musician/producer? Given the island nation has an absurdly-tiny population, there must be some explanation that so much music pours out. Well, we’re going back there again. This weekend’s selection is the lovely music of Magnoose, aka Magnus Skarp of Reykjavik. This little-known producer is putting out some really fine-quality music, in the form of clean, chilly-cool grooves. He labels these “dubstep,” and the tilt is there. But while there are some broken beat influences, the overwhelming impression is of pristine, perfectly-designed percussion, crystal-clear in the uncluttered foreground. Given the tendency of many emerging producers …

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Nonstop from Iceland, the perfect soundtracks to your winter. Photo (CC-BY) James Cridland.

Cool Yule: Iceland’s Bedroom Community Spins Wintry, Eclectic Releases [Listen]

It’s easy to be bleak about new music releases, the vast quantities of new work spreading before you in their sameness like a blizzard – plenty of particles, but all a white wash. When feelings like that hit you – or the depressed mood that might strike during midwinter in the far reaches of the Northern Hemisphere – there’s a solution. You can warm yourself with good friends in intimate surroundings. And that’s what Iceland’s Bedroom Community collective and label are all about. This group has literally assembled a group of close friends for “intimate” musical connections. Getting in on …

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Sigur Ros: INNI, New Project Trailer

Out of an explosion of terrifying industrial noise, through a murky haze of retro-tinged monochromatic texture, Sigur Rós emerge in an enigmatic teaser for a new project dubbed INNI. In case that arresting grind of gears and aggressive cacophony don’t square you away, you’re treated to film of the band playing and more-characteristic, lullaby-like tunes. It remains extraordinary to me what a phenomenon Sigur Rós and, via bandmates, Jónsi have become. These Icelandic maestros have made all manner of sonic experimentation wildly popular, bringing their moody, sometimes-cinematic, meandering compositional genius around the planet. Some music I like, personally, is very …

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desert

Led by Deru, a Wonderful Band of Artists to Head to Iceland to Make a Soundtrack, Film

A merry band of complementary filmmakers, photographers, and musicians, a curated ensemble perfectly fitted to the landscape, are heading to remote Iceland to make images and a musical soundtrack inspired by the landscape and its people. Photographers Tim Navis + Kim Høltermand and film collective Scenic are heading up the visual component, while composer and electronic producer Deru has assembled the musicians. Improvisation is intended to be a guiding force, say the creators. With the assistance of a community organized on Kickstarter, it’ll also be crowd-funded. In addition to the obligatory, pretty photo book and prints and boxed set of …

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