Iceland Airwaves begins… Day 1

writeup by Jim Beckmann
photos by Scott Holpainen

Iceland Airwaves, the country’s premier music festival, begins today in Reykjavik, and KEXP is there… well, a couple of us at least! Today through Friday, we’re featuring six live bands (two a day) from some of the most buzzworthy bands at the festival — tune in to the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole to hear them.

Our host is Einar Örn Benediktsson, who you might remember from the Sugarcubes, and who now records experimental electronic music with the Icelandic producer Curver in a project called Ghostdigital. Today, Einar presented two very young Icelandic bands, Sudden Weather Change and Agent Fresco, neither of which makes the ambient chill sounds that outsiders often equate with Icelandic music (thanks, Sigur Ros!). The five-piece Sudden Weather Change makes noisy rock that’s sometimes compared to Sonic Youth, Pavement, and Polvo, none of which are too far off, but you might also hear they’ve got a bit of Fugazi in there as well. Agent Fresco are also decidedly not chill and can easily equal SWC’s noise quotient, but, like the weather of their home island, give them a few minutes and they’ll be completely different as they slip from one time signature to the next.

Tune in tomorrow for two more sessions, from Hjaltalín and FM Belfast.

Sudden Weather Change:

Agent Fresco:

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  1. BC
    Posted October 14, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Very cool. I really appreciate KEXP’s efforts to get out and find the music happening elsewhere, such as at Airwaves, SXSW, CMJ, MusicFestNW, etc. For another view of Iceland Airwaves, check out this blog.

  2. Dez
    Posted October 15, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I lived in Iceland last year and worked for the Reykjavik Grapevine. I got to interview these guys. They were super funny and really talented. I love that KEXP is covering them. They are definitely one of my favorite Icelandic bands.

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