Kiasmos - Kiasmos - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Kiasmos - Kiasmos

by Brian Lange. Rating:9 Release Date:2014-10-27

For most of us, it may be hard not to think of Sigur Ros or Björk when it comes to Icelandic music, but the debut album of Kiasmos deserves to be acknowledged with the best of them. 

Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rassmussen are the brilliant minds behind the group Kiasmos. Arnalds is a BAFTA-winning composer that often used to work as a sound engineer for none other than Rassmussen, while working under his electro-pop outfit Bloodgroup. Having spent time together in the studio, the two became friends and would begin to experiment with music in Arnald’s newly build studio in Reykjavík.  Arnalds’ acoustic and piano based minimalistic work with Rassmussen’s heavier electronic beats and synths eventually would form Kiasmos. 

This album may be best described as if the Aurora Borealis could speak, leaving an ambiguity for the sounds that will come and go throughout the record. This will feel as if you are on a journey through the hazy morning lit landscapes of Iceland, moving rapidly with motion blur all around you.  It puts you in a trance, the line between where one track ends and another begins is blurred. 

Is it trance? Is it electro? Is it ambient? Well, it’s a little bit of all three; with hints at New Order and Everything But the Girl this is easily something you can put on in a venue full of people that want to dance and move to the subtle beats, but just as easily a record that you can space out to listening in your car while driving through unfamiliar shadowy villages and apple orchards.

Some listeners may find that there is no variety in each track, that they are too similar, but the songs work together as a cohesive unit. It’s not the type of music you will want to skip to your favourite track and listen on repeat. The album as a whole is what’s going to be played on repeat. 

For a debut record, this is possibly the epitome of what a debut should be. Two talented veterans that fate has brought together on our little blue marble, giving the world something beautiful. Where Kiasmos is taking us in this record is unknown, and perhaps you never arrive there. But Kiasmos will always let you know you are alive, allowing the Borealis speak to you at least once last time. 

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