The eight colours of rainbow – Krummi Björgvinsson (part III)

I would describe the Icelandic music scene as a rainbow, if you just put the black in the rainbow and it would be perfect the Icelandic music scene. Because there’s everything. I mean there’s a guy playing in a black metal band, playing keyboards for some electronic bands, and everybody knows each other, and the competition is healthy. (…) The music is great, everybody puts everything into the music. There are very individual artistic needs in every band. It’s different, nobody is copying another Icelandic band. You just have to find your root and grow your flower – something like that. (Krummi Björgvinsson)

The eight colours of rainbow – Krummi Björgvinsson part I and part II

A year later, when it could look like Mínus tour is neverending, Krummi came back to his motherland and had appeared on stage of the Reykjavík City Theatre at Christmas 2007. What had he done there? So, Krummi had played a main character in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar opera. Because of the cast – frontmen of Mínus, Brain Police and The Funerals – the production was aimed at more rock oriented audience. It was played to a full house until spring. The performances with the opera were something like a vacation from work with Mínus – recording another album (The Great Northern Whalekill). This time the band recorded a new material abroad. The chosen place was sunny California but it’s hard to say that the band members of Mínus got a lot of vitamin D, because they locked themselves in the studio. They changed a little bit direction of sound on their new release and worked with Joe Baressi of Queens of the Stone Age. This time the band focused on melodies. The material sounds also a bit louder and changes inside the band gave a good outcome. But 2008 supposed to be more dedicated to Esja than Mínus. A self-titled debut album of Esja was released in August and contains original simple blues songs with juicy guitar riffs. Finally, Krummi made his dream come true and became a guitarist. Although Esja had really good view for a career, the band’s life wasn‘t too long. After three years they announced some kind of state of coma. Let‘s have hope they will wake up like Icelandic vulcanos. Especially that soon after releasing Esja Krummi told Reykjavík Grapevine that they were writing songs for the next album and treated this project like a full-time band.

An empty space, which left after musical love at first sight – Esja – was filled in a natural way with another project of Krummi BjörgvinssonLegend. This time the second half of duo turned out to be Halldór Ágúst Björnsson – a long-time friend and also band mate from Esja, who has written movie scores with Krummi. Their official collaboration started in 2009 and gives dark and industrial sound. In some way they found a gap in Icelandic music, because actually darkwave scene hadn’t never been there. On gigs, which are like plays, kind of audio-visual feasts, drummer of Klink, who also was a part of Esja team – Frosti Rúnolfsson joins the band. It looks like some attachment to the old project, doesn’t it? However, Legend became a band, which is the most important for Krummi now. Maybe that’s why since then all other projects have seemed to be tangential and only temporary.

And here come difficulties. Without a doubt paths of Mínus´ musicians didn´t lead in the same direction then. The guitarist moved with family to Norway, the drummer started studying in Denmark and the bass player, Siggi Odds, focused on graphic design. The band had worked on fifth album in a renovated barn at Kolsstaðir since the begining of 2010. Everything was all set, the album got even title KOL and its release date seemed to be in November. The only unsure thing was label. The new album sounds very different from all previous works and is very experimental – from ambient to kraut rock and some heavy parts, also contains vocal harmonies. Nowadays, the release date is still push further in the future and the last announcements tell – the beginning of 2013. But the album hasn‘t appeared on shelves in music shops yet.

Another unknown quantity is also Krummi’s solo project, which was named after the author. The first single called Broken Clock was out in August 2011. It was even made a video for this song. Five minutes of electropop with roots in 80s. Krummi worked then with Möller Records label and Broken Clock was chosen to promote the album, which was expected in February 2012. At that time not his solo material was out but the debut album of Legend. Thanks to Canadian music label Artoffact Records Fearless was re-released abroad in December, what caused astonishing reviews and woke the interest of foreign press. You can watch also two videos from this album – Benjamite Bloodline and City, which was directed by Krummi – you can watch it below.

Actually, Krummi came back in all his glory to Europe and North America first time since his success with Mínus. It´s nothing strange, especially if Fearless gives goose bumps. Isn´t it something we expect from good music? It‘s almost the end of the story so let me show you a few words of Krummi Björgvinsson, which were told for I die you die in December 2012 about his various projects: And if I don’t create I get depressed, so it’s normal for me to juggle few projects at the same time. I can’t see how an artist can just do one thing, have one sound and just do the same thing every year. Makes no sense to me. We like to challenge ourselves and discover new avenues in sound, music and visuals. So, it looks like this year Krummi is going to release four albums, each of different project. Definitely he won’t be depressed.

The eight colours of the rainbow – Ólafur Arnalds

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