|sigur rós - von|
1. sigur rós - [9:46 mins]
2. dögun - [5:50 mins]
3. hún jörð - [7:17 mins]
4. leit að lífi - [2:33 mins]
5. myrkur - [6:14 mins]
6. 18 sekúndur fyrir sólarupprás - [0:18 mins]
7. hafssól - [12:24 mins]
8. veröld ný óg óð - [3:29 mins]
9. von - [5:12 mins]
10. mistur - [2:16]
11. syndir guðs (opinberun frelsarans) - [7:40 mins]
12. rukrym - [8:59 mins]
NOTES: von was sigur rós' debut album and was released in iceland 1997. it is available on cd through smekkleysa records (bad taste). this album is not expected to be released outside of iceland.
|sigur rós - von brigði (recycle bin)|
1. syndir guðs (recycled by biogen) - [6:55 mins]
2. syndir guðs (recycled by múm) - [4:52 mins]
3. leit af lífi (recycled by plasmic) - [5:26 mins]
4. myrkur (recycled by ilo) - [5:29 mins]
5. myrkur (recycled by dirty-bix) - [5:01 mins]
6. 180 sekúndur fyrir sólarupprás (recycled by curver) - [3:00 mins]
7. hún jörð (recycled by hassbræður) - [5:19 mins]
8. leit af lífi (recycled by thor) - [5:32 mins]
9. von (recycled by gusgus) - [7:24 mins]
10. leit af lífi (recycled by sigur rós) - [5:02 mins]
NOTES: von brigði is a remix album and was released in iceland 1998. it contains remixes of songs from 'von' by various icelandic electronic acts, including one track by sigur rós themselves. the track, called "leif af lífi", was originally supposed to be on 1997's von but mixing could not be finished in time.
|sigur rós - ágætis byrjun|
1. intro - [1:36 mins]
2. svefn-g-englar - [10:04 mins]
3. starálfur - [6:47 mins]
4. flugufrelsarinn - [7:47 mins]
5. ný batterí - [8:11 mins]
6. hjartað hamast (bamm bamm bamm) - [7:11 mins]
7. viðrar vel til loftárása - [10:18 mins]
8. olsen olsen - [8:03 mins]
9. ágætis byrjun - [7:56 mins]
10. avalon - [4:00 mins]
NOTES: released in iceland june 1999 and in europe august 2000, this is sigur rós' most successful album to date. it is available on cd and 12" through fatcat records. it was released in north america in 2001 through pias recordings.
viðrar vel til loftárása
ny batterí/svefn-g-englar/olsen olsen
(live outside of sundlaugin, their recording studio in álafoss, iceland - just outside of reykjavík)
|sigur rós - englar alheimsins [angels of the universe]|
1. aðflug / draumur — [3:07 mins]
2. minning — [1:56 mins]
3. svarti hundurinn og skoska leikritið — [1:23 mins]
4. niðurlæging — [1:19 mins]
5. yfirum — [4:18 mins]
6. litbrigði — [1:56 mins]
7. stigið niður til heljar — [1:46 mins]
8. snoð — [0:35 mins]
9. ferð — [2:28 mins]
10. önnur minning — [1:47 mins]
11. bakslag — [1:23 mins]
12. mók — [0:53 mins]
13. schiller í Kína — [2:52 mins]
14. máttleysi — [1:08 mins]
15. kveðja — [2:50 mins]
16. bíum bíum bambaló — [6:53 mins]
17. dánarfregnir og jarðarfarir — [4:30 mins]
NOTES: in january 2000, sigur rós headed to the studio to record two cover songs to be featured on their ný batterí release. when they finished them, they were contacted by the producers of an icelandic film called englar alheimsins and asked to contribute two songs to the film. having just completed two songs, this seemed like more than a coincidence ("it was as if it was controlled from above" kjartan has said) so they immediately handed these two songs to the producers. as mentioned before, these two songs, bíum bíum bambaló and dánarfregnir og jarðarfarir (death announcements and funerals) are covers of songs that have lived deep in the consciousness of icelanders for many generations.
bíum bíum bambaló is an old icelandic lullaby that has travelled for generations through word of mouth. this is the first time that it is recorded. dánarfregnir og jarðarfarir is sigur rós' rockish version of an organ theme that has been played for decades on the icelandic radio station when deaths and funeral arrangements are announced. this song has been labelled post-rock by brits, but jónsi calls it theme music, as everyone in iceland recognises this theme.
dánarfregnir og jarðarfarir jumped straight to #1 on icelandic charts. the film englar alheimsins (angels of the universe) was also massively successful and has been hailed almost unanimously by critics as the best icelandic film ever made. it's directed by the academy award nominated director friðrik þór friðriksson and is about a man who is losing his mind. dánarfregnir og jarðarfarir is played near the end of the film in a scene in which this man is frustrated. bíum bíum bambaló plays during the end credits. the film is scored by hilmar örn hilmarsson.
|sigur rós - ( )|
untitled 1 - vaka (the name of orri's daughter) - [6:38 mins]
untitled 2 - fyrsta (the first song) - [7:33 mins]
untitled 3 - samskeyti (attachment) - [6:33 mins]
untitled 4 - njósnavélin (the spy machine) - [6:56 mins]
untitled 5 - álafoss (the location of the band's studio) - [9:57 mins]
untitled 6 - e-bow (georg uses an e-bow on his bass in this song) - [8:48 mins]
untitled 7 - dauðalagið (the death song) - [13:00 mins]
untitled 8 - popplagið (the pop song) - [11:45 mins]
LABEL: smekkleysa/fat cat
NOTES: ( ) comprises eight untitled songs which sigur rós have been playing at concerts in the past 2-3 years. a 30 second period of silence divides the 71 minute album in two halves, each half containing four tracks. the first half is light and optimistic while the second half is bleaker and more melancholic, "plays more with your emotions", as jónsi worded it. there is some experimentation of instruments in the first half of the album, with some sampling of jónsi's voice and more emphasis on keyboard than guitar (drummer orri plays keyboard on tracks 1 and 3). there is more of the typical guitar, bass and drums line-up on the second half, jónsi bowing guitar as usually.
comparing ( ) to the band's last album, ágætis byrjun, it can be described as more minimalistic and atmospheric than its predessessor. it's a rawer and darker album and considerably less accessible than ágætis byrjun; drum beats are usually slow (tracks 1 and 3 are drum-free) and the songs take their time to progress into the trademark sigur rós emotional climaxes, making for a more challenging but more rewarding listen. with its intense highs and lows and its mood ranging from brittle to brutal, ( ) is very much a headphone album.
the album's entire packaging is completely free of text and markings. you won't find album credits or tracklistings anywhere on the album. the only thing representing the album is jónsi's handwriting of "sigur rós" on the front cover and a symbol cut out in the slipcase most accurately described as a pair of parentheses, or two semi-circles. the symbol can be interpreted as either an emphasis on the album's untitle (the listener is free to make up his/her own title since there is essentially none) or an emphasis on the division of the album, the two semi-circles symbolizing the album's two halves. or maybe it doesn't "mean" anything. every listener is of course free to make up their own mind.
there are no lyrics on the album. jónsi sings in the made-up "language" which the band calls hopelandic. this is of course not really a language in that sense, since it is essentially just babbling vocals that fit with the music, like another instrument. since there are no lyrics, the listener is invited to write in or illustrate his/her own interpretations of the songs onto the blank pages in the album's 12-page booklet. sigur-ros.com featured an interactive option where fans could send in their own lyrics and a computer program recongised the most common words and phrases to form the actual lyrics.
artwork on the album (which is basically just the image inside the parentheses and the spreads in the booklet) is based on photographs the band took outside their studio in álafoss, which they have manipulated and distorted to their liking. the images are close-ups of natural elements such as grass, bushes and ponds. four different versions of the album's packaging will be distriubted around the world, one in each of the following regions of the world: europe, america, australia and japan. iceland won't have its own special packaging but all four versions will be available to buy there. there are different images inside the brackets for each region and the spreads will also differ.
( ) is the first sigur rós album which was recorded in the band's converted swimming pool studio in álafoss, mosfellsbžr (a small rural town located near reykjavík). the band calls this studio 'sundlaugin', or 'the pool', and the studio has its own website up on sundlaugin.com. the album was produced by sigur rós and engineered by ken thomas, who was also their engineer on ágætis byrjun. on the majority of the album the band is accompanied by the string quartet amina, which comprises four icelandic young women [you can read more about amina here]. ( ) was mixed at peter gabriel's real world studios and mastered at abbey road studios.
some songs from ( ) were written a few years before they were recorded. fyrsta (track 2) was first performed in 2000 and underwent several changes until it was recorded in 2002. you can download the 3 main stages that the song underwent in the recordings below.
fyrsta 2000 first version, basic instruments only - live in gaukur ˆ st�ng, reykjavÍk
fyrsta 2001 drumless version, with samples and strings added - live in laugardalsh�llin, reykjavÍk
fyrsta 2002 final version, with an alternate vocal bridge added - sundlaugin studio, iceland
untitled #1 - vaka
untitled #1 - vaka (live)
|sigur rós - hlemmur soundtrack|
1. jósef tekur fimmuna í vinnuna (jósef takes the nr. 5 to work) - [3:04 mins]
2. hlemmur 1 - [1:38 mins]
3. fyrsta ferð (the first trip) - [2:35 mins]
4. vetur (winter) - [1:48 mins]
5. hvalir í útrýmingarhættu (endangered whales) - [3:00 mins]
6. hlemmur 2 - [0:43 mins]
7. þversögn (paradox) - [2:09 mins]
8. 1970 - [1:14 mins]
9. jósef tekur fimmuna í vinnuna 2 - [1:47 mins]
10. ég mun læknast! (i will recover!) - [1:54 mins]
11. 1993 - [1:12 mins]
12. hlemmur 3 - [1:19 mins]
13. síðasta ferð (the last trip) - [2:38 mins]
14. 23:20 - [1:42 mins]
15. byrgið (the shelter) - [1:36 mins]
16. áfram ísland (go iceland) - [1:22 mins]
17. allt tekur sinn tíma! (all in due time!) - [2:46 mins]
18. hannes (a male name) - [2:39 mins]
19. óskabörn þjóðarinnar (model citizens) - [4:45 mins]
NOTES: recorded in 2002 as the score to the icelandic documentary "hlemmur", this soundtrack was first sold to the public in spring 2003 european and american tours. it is expected to be released at some point through the band's own record label, krúnk. this instrumental electronic soundtrack is composed of 19 tracks, some of which are variations of the same theme.
hlemmur is a film which revolves around the lives of some unfortunate destitute men who spend most of their time in and around reykjavík's main bus station, hlemmur. a trailer of the documentary can be seen here and more information including screenshots can be seen here.
|sigur rós - ba ba ti ki di do|
1. ba ba - [6:12 mins]
2. ti ki - [8:49 mins]
3. di do - [5:42 mins]
NOTES: this ambient 20 minute song is split into three individual tracks and derives its puzzling title from the only spoken sounds uttered in the piece. it is composed of four primary instruments: piano, music box, miked-up ballet shoes and electronic playback. the song was written for merce cunningham's dance piece 'split sides' which was premiered october 14th 2003 in the brooklyn academy of music. the music and choreography of split sides were composed independently of each other and were first introduced to one another on the premiere night, leaving the musicians a window of opporunity for improvisation. sigur rós left room for interaction with the choreography when composing the song and watched the dancers' movements closely as they turned their music boxes and tapped their ballet shoes.
the song's final chapter, di do, features cut-up samples of choreographer merce cunningham's voice, which foreground the rhythm of the song's crescendo. at this point in the premiere performance of split sides, a stunning coincidental synchronisation occurred between the dancers' movements and the music.
radiohead wrote music to the second half of split sides but are not planning on releasing their contribution.
|sigur rós - takk...|
1. takk... - [1:57 mins]
2. glósóli - [6:15 mins]
3. hoppípolla - [04:28 mins]
4. með blóðnasir - [02:17 mins]
5. sé lest - [08:40 mins]
6. sæglópur - [07:38 mins]
7. mílanó - [10:25 mins]
8. gong - [5:33 mins]
9. andvari - [06:40 mins]
10. svo hljótt - [07:24 mins]
11. heysátan - [04:09 mins]
DOCUMENTARY: the making of takk...
NOTES: ‘takk…’, the fourth album from sigur rós, was released by emi records on september 12. written, performed and produced by the band (along with co-producer ken thomas) at their studio in álafoss, iceland, ‘takk…’ is the record to justify every amazing claim ever laid at this exceptional band’s door.
huge and intimate, orchestral and gossamer-light, rich layered and essentially simple, ‘takk…’ is a work of a band operating at the very top of their game. it accomplishes what maybe they haven’t done since they first appeared, which is to make high-flown ideas appear to be straight ahead pop music, or, perhaps more accurately, invest pop music with a sense of magic long since lost in the mists of time and imagination (not that they sound anything like any music made back in any mythical musical heyday).
‘takk…’ seems to operate so far outside the confines of what else is going on as to make comparison redundant. that the band were not going to be held by any narrow categorisation was apparent from the off. that they might be capable of creativity at this level of freedom and imagination was more than any of us might ever have hoped for. ‘takk…’ is an instant classic, and might well turn out to be sigur rós’s masterpiece.
“there is nothing clever about sigur rós and how we write songs, it’s just mucking about really. it’s all very spontant (sic),” says the band’s kjartan sveinsson, although most musicians could muck about for millennia and never come up with anything approaching ‘takk…’.
flowing through 65 minutes of 11 linked pieces, ‘takk…’ came together relatively quickly (in sigur rós terms), with recording starting in earnest last december and mixing finishing this june. the running order more or less wrote itself by the spring, with several additional songs naturally falling by the wayside as the record took shape.
the band deliberately put a halt to live performances two years ago, to ensure anything they wrote towards the album would remain fresh in their minds. as a result only two of the songs on ‘takk…’ have ever been heard at shows (prior to the band’s current european jaunt), with the remaining nine taking off in a multitude of new directions, only hinted at by the band’s previous work. ideas burst free in every direction, where before the band might have worked through a concept to its utter conclusion (playing and developing a song as slowly as possible – the origin of a thousand ‘glacial’ metaphors), they now burn through ideas with scant regard. songs begin in one time signature and end in another, having morphed beyond recognition on their passage through. a beautiful piano motif will be bombed into submission by power chords, which in turn will succumb to a heavenly string-led calm after the storm.
that said, sigur rós can still take a breathtakingly long time to get to the point. the see-sawing strings and distant piano of ‘mílanó’ are like watching omar shariff appear on the horizon in lawrence of arabia, while, the orchestration towards the end of ‘andvari’ changes almost imperceptibly on its way towards its epiphany.
elsewhere, ‘takk…’ is literally packed with music, so much so, that you wonder how the band managed to keep the space, clarity and separation in the sound. the ascent of ‘svo hljótt’ is dizzying and disorientating, while ‘glósóli’ features the crump of no fewer than three bass drums, before taking us through the ceiling of the song with a guitar that keeps climbing long after you think it must have reached its zenith.
‘takk…’ is, according to the band (with icelandic tongue firmly placed in icelandic cheek), a “rock’n’roll record” – and it certainly is on occasion played both loud and fast – but few of the clichés of the genre come through sigur rós intact. in fact, listening to ‘takk…’ it is not images of rebellion or off-the-peg degradation that comes to mind, but more a feeling of being washed clean by music. even when they rock sigur rós provide a clear spot of, dare i say, sanctity, and, at the end, of the record the prevailing feeling is one of peace.
(live in reykjavík)