(Here’s another great find by one of the hardest working dudes I know, DJ Platurn . Check some newer work of his available at Turntable Lab. And if you’re in the Austin area, peep his outrageous schedule at this year’s SXSW. Stay tuned for future installments of our ‘Breaking The Ice’ series which, as far as I know, is the only venue for Icelandic gems such as this.– DM)
Wuddup beat nerds, back once again with another from the cold Icelandic crates of Sveimhugi and DJ Platurn. If you read the last installment then you’re somewhat familiar with this series– basically these tracks were songs myself and my cousin unearthed in the motherland years ago; joints off Icelandic LPs and 45s that lie on the groovy side of things. We put them all on an unreleased comp called ‘Breaking The Ice V.1’ that never saw the light of day, until now.
‘Syrpa II’ Leikur Vinsæl Islensk Lög [SG Hljómplötur, 1970]
So ‘Syrpa II’ translates to ‘Medley Two’, a track off of an LP that literally means ‘Plays Popular Icelandic Songs’ by recording artist, producer, arranger and groovy Hammond player Þórir Baldursson. This LP is composed entirely of medleys of relatively well known Icelandic songs, none that would sound familiar to anyone outside of the indigenous population and primarily the generations before the last two or so.
The 3 songs in this medley are ‘Bláu Augun Þín’ (Your Blue Eyes), Hún Er Svo Sæt (She Is So Pretty) and Þú Og Ég (You And I). It was released on SG Records, the primary avenue for releases of Icelandic music during that time. This particular release is not necessarily rare but good luck finding it outside of the island. The release date was 1970.
So enough with the proprieties– that groove is kinda nasty! Takes me back to a bit of that UK library sound with the simplistic yet slick Hammond work, especially with the lush string and horn arrangements that pop in and out of the 3 songs. What’s kinda interesting is if you don’t know this music the track literally sounds like it just has hella changes in it that don’t necessarily make any sense, making the listen a truly fascinating and unique sounding experience. The drummer and bass player sit nicely in the pocket throughout all renditions along with all the other players flowing seamlessly throughout each transition.
I really love this track, probably for the simple fact that this is music that is somewhat familiar to me but is totally cooled out and has a great groove all throughout.
By the way, Þórir B. is still around, making and performing music and actually has a minimally tended to Facebook fan page and you can read more on his extensive discography on his Discogs page as well.
Finally, he is also credited as being a big influence on the disco sound in Iceland during the heyday, going so far as to working with Casablanca, Salsoul and other big NY disco labels of the time, among many others.
More to come; in the meantime keep it funky.