KEXPort 2017, Day 1: Dynfari, Hatari, Hórmónar, Kuldaboli, Une Misére

Hatari headlines the first day of KEXPort 2017 // all photos by Lilja Jónsdóttir

Now in its sixth year, KEXPort celebrates KEXP’s ongoing relationship with Kex Hostel in Reykjavik, where we broadcast every year during Iceland Airwaves. Typically, it’s a music marathon consisting of 12 bands in 12 hours, but this year they’ve expanded the program to feature 15 bands over two days. While a few artists this year have been featured by KEXP before, like Sóley, Fufanu, Vök and Hórmónar, most of them are completely new to KEXP listeners and among the newest talent in Iceland. It’s no wonder then why the locals coming out in droves to make each year of KEXPort a huge success.

Friday, July 14th, was the first time KEXPort was held on a Friday night, and though the weather threatened rain (and even gave a little bit), the outdoor stage was surrounded by an eager, at-capacity crowd. Clad in all black, Dynfari chased the clouds away with their melodic doom-metal-meets-post-rock sound. The next band also wore all black, but their sound couldn’t have been more different – Une Misére, a fledgling group formed by members of other bands, delivered an expressive and athletic take on a classic hardcore sound, inspiring a moment of emotive solidarity. Though the rain soon fell again, cold wave maestro Kuldaboli kept his cool, and his shades on, for dance-driven set composed in the bedroom but made for the dance floor. By the time Hórmónar‘s set time arrived, the hostel’s backyard was filled with fans eager to see the first of two of Iceland’s hottest live acts. The female-fronted band have perfected the loud quiet loud act – mostly loud – and proved with an electrified set that their winning Músíktilraunir, Iceland’s battle of the bands, last year was no fluke. Then, the band that is not a band, an idea or movement rather than a musical group, with nought but a single song to be found online, Hatari blew everyone away. Just as the sun dropped to the horizon, the lowest point it would ever get this summer night, twilight gave way to the highly theatrical dystopic wonderland of their set. Borrowing a bit from 80s industrial acts like Nitzer Ebb and, before that, D.A.F. – both of whose work has been described as “a combination of fascist rally and hardcore male-bondage sex club” – Hatari donned futuristic military uniforms and nightmare-inducing, Mad Max-esque leather gear to deliver alternating messages of melodic high-register hope and shouted vitriol. For a band whose name in Icelandic translates to “hater”, there was so much to love.

We look forward to catching many of these bands again when we return to Iceland Airwaves, but until then, we’ll have our memories, captured beautifully below by photographer Lilja Jónsdóttir:

Dynfari

Dynfari

Une Misére

Une Misére

Une Misére

Une Misére

Kuldaboli

Kuldaboli

Hórmónar

Hórmónar

Hórmónar

Hórmónar

Hórmónar

Hatari

Hatari

Hatari

Hatari

Hatari

Hatari

Hatari

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