Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Mugison: Big in Iceland

So, the last issue of Paste magazine told me that Mugison* and his album Mugimama! is This Monkey Music? have taken Iceland by storm, even dominating the 2005 Icelandic Music Awards -- which, given the relative size of the country, is like Match Point sweeping the field in the Best Woody Allen Movie of 2005 Awards. The Paste puff piece made the obligatory national comparisons to Bjork and Mum (please forgive me for the missing umlauts), but far more interesting critical comparisons to Thom Yorke (good) and Bonnie "Prince" Billy (bad).** Because of the Yorke nod (and, well, the fact that he looks like a bearded, dark-haired Mike Score), I'd been meaning to check out a track or two. Lo and behold, Paste's newest issue arrived in the mail today. One of the best things about Paste is that each issue comes with a CD of supposedly cutting-edge tunes. Of course, Mugison's song "Murr Murr" is Track 10. It's way more Yorke than Bonnie "Prince" Billy -- actually, it's as if Yorke went down to Rosedale and sold his soul to the fjandi. Great little guitar riffs and a driving beat sans drums. I might have to spring for the whole album. That said, Mugison is still essentially the Arctic Monkeys of the great north -- lots of word of mouth, not so much music out there to show for the hype. At the end of the day, though, it's all Monkey Music.

*Mugison is in no way related to Mugshot.

**Interestingly, I saw Bonnie "Prince" Billy open for Bjork at the Hollywood Bowl in the summer of 2003. He was putrid -- so bad, in fact, that I thought Bjork put him first on to make her performance inevitably better.


At 12:31 AM, Blogger ryunited and it feels so good said...

How does a country as small as Iceland produce so many fantastic acts?

Bjork and Sigur Ros are both brilliant and so distinctive.

Rekyavik (sp?) is the new Prague.


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