One thing that much Icelandic music has in common is a distinct connection to the natural world, a musical link with the earth and natural phenomena. Listening to Raindamage, the new album from Nordic Affect, it is clear that it continues the Icelandic ethos, or so it would seem, of innovating and exploring while staying connected to the roots of the world.
Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Raindamage begins with plinking strings and electronics, slowly coalescing out of windy electronics before dissolving into nothing, a final splash of sound like water shaking off a tree. Úlfur Hansson’s Þýð (don’t ask me how to pronounce that) stretches time and sound, voices and grainy strings intertwining in organum-likeRead more drones and slowly moving harmonies. Vilmarsson’s [::N::] wanders through a forest of effects and textures, some harsh but never grating.
The three composers’ electronic pieces inhabit similar spheres of ambient glitchiness, the mediums different from Nordic Affect’s pieces but the message the same, strings and sod turning to pings and pixels without a jolt. The first and last pieces on the album, Raindamage and Hansson’s Skin Continuum, blend live instruments and digitally created sounds, the former with the quartet and the latter with fan-shaped drum player Nava Dunkelman. The journey begins and ends with a sonic reminder that everything is connected.