As promised, Iceland’s favorite experimental rock sons Sigur Rós have announced additions to the lineup for next month’s sure-to-be-spellbinding Norður og Niður festival, the multifarious music/dance/art/film shindig that the band is curating at Reykjavik’s Harpa Concert Hall from December 27-31.
In addition to the already-announced artists (which include the likes of Mogwai, Julianna Barwick, Sin Fang, Dan Deacon, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields), the Sigur Bros have further-aroused our sonic procreation devices with the inclusion of L.A.-based producer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, German ambient trio Tangerine Dream, Icelandic dance legends GusGus, and Vaccines’ bassist Árni Árnason, who’ll be taking to the stage on opening day to showcase some of the psych-fuzz “muzak vibes” from his new solo project.
Also, it was revealed that the festival’s opening ceremony will feature Sigur Rós’s orchestral collaborator Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson in a one-off performance with rímur chanter Steindór Andersen and Páll Guðmundsson on traditional Icelandic stone marimba. We’re not sure what kind of an arrangement that will end up being, but beneath the aura of those mystical Northern Lights, you can bet your most resonant marimba stone it’ll be a goddamn treat.
Additionally, the great Alex Somers himself (soundboard guru/mixer/multi-instrumentalist) will be producing tracks from a collection of antique gramophones each night after the Sigur Rós set, so you’ll definitely want to check that out…if, of course, Sigur hasn’t blown your soul into an alternate dimension of time and space beforehand.
And FINALLY, perhaps more importantly than all of this festival lineup announcement stuff, is the news that several super-limited edition vinyls will be released over the course of the four day festival. Notably, Jónsi himself will be releasing Frakkur, 2000-2004, a collection of solo recordings that were cut from several albums’ worth of previously unheard material (check out the record’s untitled opening track below). Icelandic multi-media artist Sigga Björg Sigurðardóttir will also be creating original sleeve designs for the first 100 copies of the record, which will be available on-site at the Harpa Concert Hall.
Other rare and previously unreleased vinyls that will be unveiled at Norður og Niður include:
• Sigur Rós Route One - an album created with “groundbreaking generative music software” during the band’s 24-hour drive around Ring Road on winter solstice 2016
• Liminal Remixes - a Jónsi, Alex Somers & Paul Corley collab featuring never-before-heard ambient versions of classic Sigur Rós tracks
• All Animals - the deleted Jónsi & Alex EP that was released shortly after Riceboy Sleeps (this will be the record’s first-ever vinyl release)
• Alex Somers - a brand new album of unreleased music from the Sigur Rós producer/collaborator
All of the above titles will be launched at Norður og Niður and released in limited, 100-run editions with handmade and color-coded sleeves, in addition to a limited online release that will take place shortly after the New Year, during which the records will be available in the Sigur Rós webstore.
Also, there are still a handful of single and/or full four-day passes available to the festival, so if you’re fortunate enough to have an opportunity to attend this probably-once-in-a-lifetime event, you’ll want to jump on over to the official festival website ASAP and see what’s still available.
NORÐUR OG NIÐUR DAY-BY-DAY SCHEDULE (more[!] tba):
12.27.17 - Reykjavik, Iceland - Harpa Concert Hall
ALEXIS TAYLOR (HOT CHIP)
HILMAR ÖRN HILMARSSON, STEINDÓR ANDERSEN & PALL GUÐMUNDSSON
NELLY BEN HAYOUN (presents ‘DISASTER PLAYGROUND’)
12.28.17 - Reykjavik, Iceland - Harpa Concert Hall
KEVIN SHIELDS (MBV)
KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH
KJARTAN HOLM & CALEB SMITH
JO BERGER MYHRE & OLAFUR BJÖRN OLAFSSON
DEAN DEBLOIS (presents ‘HEIMA’)
12.29.17 - Reykjavik, Iceland - Harpa Concert Hall
ICELAND DANCE COMPANY*
BRASSGAT Í BALA
DANIEL BJARNASON (presents ‘UNDER THE TREE’)
12.30.17 - Reykjavik, Iceland - Harpa Concert Hall
STARS OF THE LID
SIN FANG, SÓLEY & ÖRVAR SMÁRASON
ICELAND DANCE COMPANY*
AMIINA MR SILLA
EIRIKUR ORRI OLAFSSON
HILMAR ÖRN HILMARSSON (presents ‘THE SHOW OF SHOWS’)
* New choreographed work set to music of Sigur Rós.