KEXP at Iceland Airwaves, Day 2: Apparat Organ Quartet

photo by Jim Bennett

Icelandic futuristic rock band Apparat Organ Quartet perform so rarely, even in Iceland, that we’re incredibly lucky to have them play live on KEXP for the second time in just a few weeks! Founded by composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, Apparat is a true organ quartet (plus a drummer) that combines vintage keyboards, analog synths, and, of course, organs to create futuristic synth-rock. As our Afternoon Show host, Kevin Cole, says, “if Kraftwerk were to make a great album in 2011 or 2012, this is what it would sound like.”

KEX Hostel was once again completely packed for their set during KEXP’s live broadcast from Reykjavík during Iceland Airwaves, with festival-goers standing on benches and chairs to try to catch a glimpse of Apparat Organ Quartet over the crowd. The band eased in with with “Pentatronik,” a song that starts out quiet and spacey, then dove head first into heavy, synths post-rock.

The crowd really started getting into it during the second song, “Cargo Frakt.” Things started getting more rock and roll with “Konami,” their synths sounding more and more like guitars. No one was fully dancing, but people were definitely moving. The final two songs, “LuBeck” and “Cruise Control,” brought in distorted digitized vocals, heavy drums, and bursts of out of this world sci-fi weirdness. Apparat Organ Quartet brought down the house, leaving the crowd cheering for more.

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