iceland’s volruptus returns to bjarkis bbbbbb with five esoteric cuts titled alien agenda. releasing on bbbbbb at the end of last year, volruptus has emerged swiftly on the european party scene, with the icelandic artist popping up on line-ups all over the continent. following releases by norways eod and fellow icelandic talent, lord pusswhip, alien agenda is bbbbbbs third record of the year continuing bjarkis progressive tastes for innovative electronic scandinavian artists. first up, svi,nasti,a 3000 deploys a synthetic, fast-pitched techno revolver fused with space- induced, twisted modulations. a scratch tool titled itchy and scratchy show follows before launching into su,rmatur a celestial 303 synth line layered over scattered electro drums, together providing a magical transcendental experience. alien agenda is suitably an eccentric, idm tinged number – with shades of acid and powerful bass shrills becoming the focus here. last up, misanthropgy (dark stoff) provides an energetic rolling percussive loop, intensifying naturally through cryptic, high-pitched melodies.
rephlex producer eod drops a mind-bending fifteen track debut album on bjarki’s bbbbbb this june. born in trondheim, norway, stian gjevik is a rarity amongst electronic music producers. possibly the most interesting musician representing the braindance and idm sounds of today, eod’s productions have landed on labels like wé,,,mè,,, records, sleepers, cpu, 030303 and aphex twin’s highly respected rephlex. dropping on bbbbbb last year, his ‘swurlk ep’ sold out within a month and received support from aphex twin, bicep, bjarki, nina kraviz and many more. “it s the album i ve wanted to do since i started making music - feels like a dream come true. inspired by what got me into electronic music in the first place, jungle and early ‘00s warp/rephlex -drill & bass--type stuff, but shifted through my own eod-style lens. oh yeah and loads of lovecraft references because i love those.” - eod a must-listen for fans of sublime synth-driven cuts, otherworldly beatless affairs and frenetic, machine- driven jams, eod’s ‘named’ is a refreshing and highly anticipated debut long player from a true master of his craft.
it is undeniable that bjarki and his bbbbbb imprint are at the forefront of iceland’s dance music scene, playing a vital role in asserting the country as a hub for genre bending electronic music. although the label has proved to be a solid platform for bjarkis own experimental material, bbbbbb continues to host some of icelands best talents (notably last year’s lauded release from volruptus who followed up with another killer outing on т,,р,,и,,п,,). for bbbbbb’s 10th release bjarki continues to substantiate his a&r abilities, introducing the world to lord pusswhip. having enjoyed a meteoric rise as a key player in icelands hip-hop scene, the young producers sound has continued to evolve since befriending bjarki and the bbbbbb crew, and the hand of glory ep now sees him at arguably his most adventurous and experimental yet. murky atmospherics introduce xmas jam creep before a cacophony of percussion ups the energy, setting the tone for a dynamic release. crazy shit mane follows with its crunchy drums, scintillating synths and sultry bass until hop out the car blends hip-hop vocals with mesmerising chord sequences reminiscent of richard d.james early work. an undulating bassline then works alongside a chorus of angelic voices in ‘the hand of glory, making way for the syncopated and dreamlike shroomm0(u)rning. moving into ambient territories, green house living layers pads and samples together to generate an otherworldly aesthetic until choppa hard combines ominous drones with a steady beat to conclude the release.
the latest release from bjarki runar’s bbbbbb label sees bjarki delving back into his vast archives and shines a light on a bizarre detour during the early days of the label that involved a peculiar commission from the icelandic state.
slysó ep5 cyclops í poka is a 5-track, vinyl only ep. whilst the recent something weirdcore challenged our understanding of genre, the latest release takes things further, playing with our perception of acousticspace.
immersive textures are introduced without warning, just as quickly as they are withdrawn, never to be heard again. from the nostalgic harmonies of cyxlobblobs5 to the unnerving glitches of the title track, high velocity drums of aqua elba and mangled juke patterns of catpitchd5 , the ep darts its way through a range of new territories without hesitation.
never one to conform, cucumb45 rejects familiar structures, rapidly jumping between ideas whilst manipulating the physical properties of his sound.
hailing from outer space via reykjavik, volruptus maps out intergalactic forms of communication on ‘alien transmissions’, the latest release from bjarki and johnny chrome silver’s inimitable bbbbbb records. title track is a disorienting dose of acid powered electropunkfunk whilst ‘jargon’ uses complex polyrhythms to propel a grinding techno stomper. ‘gett vffreakye’ uses percussive breaks and mechanised vocal chops to depict aliens having a live jam in outer space, whilst closing track ‘tesseract’ is an angular drum workout featuring animated bass and dissonant pad calls. like each bbbbbb release before it, volruptus presents an intoxicating ep that pairs impeccable sound design with an unruly approach to genre, form and style.
for its 6th release, bjarki and johnny chrome silver’s bbbbbb records welcome new signing eod (aka stian gjevik) to their unholy alliance with his swurlk ep . the norwegian born, strictly analog producer takes the label off-roading with four outstanding productions channeling ambient, electro and hard bloody techno. having released on imprints including rephlex and weme records, it was actually on soundcloud that bjarki discovered eod’s music. after getting in touch, the scale of his work emerged as gigabytes of unheard music dating back to 2002 were exchanged, all of which was made without the use of a pc an approach which speaks for itself through his instinctive, playful melodies. swurlk ep boasts an impeccable sense of arrangement, more like that of a composer, and even more impressive considering the absence of any computer. the title track opens with a velvety smooth synth melody building with bass textures.‘evenhark uses a broken beat framework to carry floating harmonies. swarm uses layer upon layer of stuttered percussion to build into a relentless techno cut. elcaset_testgroove pairs catchy, interacting melodies with pensive harmonies. swurlk ep is a must listen for fans of melodic electro and an exciting move from a label that continues to challenge all our fucking expectations
the fourth release on bjarki and johnny chrome silver’s bbbbbb records, comes hot on the heels of the first. two and three are limited run, vinyl only, hand stamped releases to be sought out from your local dealer. bjarki returns as cucumb45 with the 5-track ep ‘something weirdcore’. on the surface there are elements of jungle, breakbeat, techno and rave, but to say this spans genres would be an understatement – it defies them. the title track instantly commands attention with breaks samples offset against indecipherable robotic groans and melancholic chords, but a sudden change of drum pattern shows this is more than a reprieve of known territory – it’s a voyage away from the limits of tempo and genre. this theme is explored throughout the ep by way of unnerving stripped back techno (akureyri), electro with subtle inflections of dancehall (comatack) and even a big beat/dub influenced jam (music for advertising). as cucumb45 plays with genres as we know them, so he does with the emotional resonance of the release. frequently switching from euphoric to anxious, each track is a testament to his incredible attention to detail. simply put, this is music for those who hate to be labelled.
bjarkis not a fan of boxes - in fact, if you try putting him in one and hell gleefully jump out and stamp all over it. in 2015 you probably had him pegged as a techno artist, but in 2016 he confounded everyone’s expectations of his musical path (surprise breakout hit of the year followed by big room appearances playing the aforementioned hit at every set.) and instead he released three widely praised lps Б,,,, | lefhanded fuqs that mapped out a broad musical landscape for him - one that runs from ice cold ambient soundscapes, through melodic techno, exuberant breakbeat and on toclassic rave. his final release of 2016 fresh jive placed him firmly leading the pack of artists who in the past few years have set about re-moulding the scent of breakbeat, rave, jungle and idm into sounds that are entirely their own. in 2017 bjarki opens up a record label with his childhood friend johnny chromesilver, bbbbbb records. my inspiration is a classic breakbeat jungle track, written by floyd dice and acen as x-static, originally released in1992 on production house records. for the new release, the b-side includes an additional version by bjarki that was mouth-wateringly teased to the general public on last years. trip 2 iceland video. bjarki s sweetest thing version revs up the pads, melody and vocal of the original into a spine tingling, brooding and insanely addictive bass heavy breakbeat roller.