KEXP Documentaries: “Electronic Innovators” – Björk



Pop icon Björk started out as a child star in her home country of Iceland when she released an album of covers in 1976. She was only 11 years-old.   The album was called Björk, and even though it brought her fame, Björk was ashamed of the record.  “I felt funny about having an album out that said ‘Björk’ on it, and it wasn’t my work. I’d been collaborating and wrote just one song. But I promised to myself that I would never do that again unless it was my album.” And from that point on she committed  herself to full-blown originality.

Björk was just a teenager when the punk movement came to Iceland. It seemed like everyone she knew was in a band. She started singing with K.U.K.L.E, a group of poets and musicians who would later change their name to The Sugarcubes and become the most famous rock band to ever come out of Iceland.  She left The Sugarcubes in 1993, feeling that she had outgrown the band creatively.  The same year, she released Debut and made herself an indie hit in the US and UK with the song “Human Behavior.”

Her explorations in visual art and electronic music were experimental, but had enough of a warm, melodic element that they attracted a worldwide pop audience.  Each successive album Björk has released has had a different approach to using electronic and organic elements. But no matter how she produced each of her eight studio albums, every one has the same purpose: To communicate who Björk feels like she is, as a woman, an Icelander and a modern musician.  Her latest album, Biophilia, is revolutionary in its multimedia concept.  The tour is to be done in select cities in Iceland and Manchester and includes art installations, workshops and a live choir. The album itself has its own corresponding website, iPad app and newly invented instruments. [Read a review of the show during Iceland Airwaves here.]


Listen to this KEXP Documentary:

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KEXP Documentaries are created by Michele Myers. This series was co-produced by Decibel Festival‘s Sean Horton. Assistant Producers are John Felthous and Mary Janisch. Lesson Plans are created by Tiffany Grobelski and Michele Myers. Executive Producer is Kevin Cole. If you would like to follow along more closely in the creation of these radio stories, we post historical music facts, research materials, songs and videos on our Facebook page and on Twitter.

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