Postcard from Iceland :: Part 2
October 11th 2011
Nick La Rosa
Photo by Rainbow Chan
Day two our Northern Lights adventure started with the first musical collaboration for Tank and Rainbow Chan; they spent it making an original track with local artist Just Another Snake Cult. His real name is Þorir (ponounced Thorir, or Thor for short) and being named after the god of thunder, we were pretty sure we'd end up with a great new tune.
Rainbow, Tank and I met Thor at his Reykjavik apartment which doubles as his home recording studio. Using Thor's accordian, home made dulcimer and other goodies on hand, they got to work. None of the three musicians had ever worked in this way, but really did themselves proud. Combining Tank's bass-heavy, ethereal bedroom pop with Rainbow's magical and experimental indie, the result at the end of eight hour's work was everything I hoped it would be. Thor will deliver us a Just Another Snake Cult remix to top it all off. He's playing some eight or so gigs throughout Iceland Airwaves and I'm looking forward to checking him and his ten(!) piece band live.
Photo by Rainbow Chan
While Rainbow and Tank were busy making a new tune for FBi, I wandered the streets of Reykjavik. Shops here are mostly boutique and many (most?) support local creatives. It's a great thing to see, particularly when you consider there are very few global brands in the city. Global brands make cities all look and feel the same, but Reykjavik retains its own identity by largely ignoring them and focusing on high quality local wares. I've also noticed Reykjavik is a visually 'clean' city, with almost no billboards or obtrusive advertising assaulting my eyes (sounds good, right?)
Dinner saw us at what will probably be our only fancy meal while we're here. After finishing up the track with Thor, Rainbow, Tank and I headed to The Fish Market, a classy restaurant showcasing local produce with a focus on seafood. The fit out and decor of the place was impressive. We drank cocktails and ate incredibly well. The highlight probably being our first experience eating minke whale. It tasted mostly like beef and is a traditional delicacy of Iceland.
Feeling gorged and spoiled, our next mission was one we were all looking forward to: searching for the namesake of our competition that brought us here… the Northern Lights! We reconnected with Benni from music website gogoyoko and drove out of town. Once we escaped the light pollution of the city, we stopped at the side of the road, looked skyward and waited. Within a couple of minutes we saw swirls of green light overhead. Given there´s no guarantee of actually seeing the Northern Lights on any given day, we were pretty lucky. Yoko Ono has an installation running in the city at the moment (she's playing Iceland Airwaves Festival with her Plastic Ono band too). It's an enormous beam of light which shoots in to the sky and from where we were standing it almost looked as though Yoko´s light touched the Northern Lights. Dunno, it was pretty cool.
Tomorrow, Rainbow and Tank will meet with another local musician to collaborate on a second track. It will also see the start of the You Are In Control music conference, with music indu