Örn Elías Guðmundsson, better known my his stage name Mugison, began his career with a guitar and a laptop. He studied in London to become a record producer, but soon his artistic ambition couldn’t be contained, and he struck out on his own. 2004’s Mugimama Is This Monkey Music? won Best Album (beating out Björk) at the Icelandic Music Awards, while album cut “Murr Murr” was awarded Best Song. Subsequent albums saw Mugi (as he is referred to in his homeland) experiment with his avant-pop, until 2008’s Mugiboogie, wherein he dropped the laptop and recruited a full band. With the beefier setup, Mugi’s music took a turn for the rock and roll, with just a twinge of folksy alt-country for good measure.
For an artist known to have his family and his townsfolk assemble the packaging for his albums, Mugison’s newest album is even more homegrown and is sung purely in Icelandic. Further endearing him to the already fervent Icelandic crowds. During his set at the KEX Hostel in Reykjavik during KEXP’s first international broadcast as part of the 2011 Iceland Airwaves festival (more info here), Mugison drew the largest crowd yet, as fans lined up outside for the chance to get in. As always, Mugi was beyond energetic and his band, assembled within less than an hour of his performance, top notch. Check out the photos here: