Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. This week, we spotlight Icelandic artists in anticipation of KEXP’s broadcast from Iceland Airwaves next week. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Dark In Here” by Ghostigital from the 2012 album Division Of Culture & Tourism on Smekkleysa.
Formed in 2002 by Icelandic musicians Einar Örn (formerly of The Sugarcubes) and Curver Thoroddsen, Ghostigital was originally the moniker for Örn’s jarring, genre-mashing solo work until the duo formed the project with a cast of revolving contributors, which have included David Byrne, Damon Albarn, and Nick Zinner among their ranks. The duo’s third album, Division of Culture & Tourism, a collection of electronic songs that defy any kind of classification (and in some sense, comprehension), is at least as musically diverse as anything else either member has ever attempted, pushing the boundaries of the always adventurous Einar Örn. “Dark In Here” is an uncompromising, jarring track that features Örn speaking (with almost no sense of melody or rhythm) over a series of roughly constructed beats and spoken word samples, and while there’s no obvious comprehension between the parts, the track’s musique concrète attitude is all the more appealing because of it. While some people may consider “Dark In Here” to be “weird” or “meandering”, they’re missing the point - whatever boundaries Ghostigital are trying to break here have been shattered by a duo with an earnest passion for pushing musical boundaries.
Due to Örn’s duties as a Reykjavic city councilman and Curver’s residence in NYC, Ghostigital doesn’t tour heavily, but they will play a slot at this year’s Iceland Airwaves in addition to performing live on KEXP on Friday, November 2nd, during our broadcast at KEX Hostel during the festival. Find out more about KEXP at Iceland Airwaves here, and follow Ghostigital on their frequently updated website and Facebook page. We’ll post live footage from their session after the festival, but for now, here’s a video of their 2006 track “Northern Lights”: