The Icelandic music explosion‎ started with the Sugarcubes‎ and Bjork‎, found it’s way to Sigur Ros‎ and Múm‎, and has finally come upon ApparatOrganQuartet‎, the most recent band to come out of the Icelandic music scene. As the name would suggest they are very much into vintage organs‎ and they are, in fact, a quartet, although they are not a communist administration‎ of the former Soviet Union‎.

Apparat Organ Quartet have been known to describe their music as “machine rock and roll‎”. I would have to go ahead and agree with them on that one: their music sounds like a nice blend of Kraftwerk‎, Spiritualized‎, and their fellow island-inhibitersMúm‎. To achieve their unique analog sound‎ they modify old organs, sometimes even sawing them in half in order to carry them around to live events, and obscure‎ synthesizers to their needs. They also use lots of other discarded music technology including the all-but-forgotten stylophone‎: the pocket-sized synth‎ that you play with a pen. Their fanaticism‎ for old keyboards is to such an extreme that the group has a special deal with Iceland's sanitation department‎ that states that the band will get a telephone call every time an old organ or synthesizer turns up in the dump‎.

The quartet itself is made up of four well established Icelanders who have all been in well-known‎ bands or have collaborated with other well-known bands. The members‎ of the quartet include:

Jóhann Jóhannsson‎: Found Apparat Organ Quartet in 1999. Has collaborated with Jonsi‎ from Sigur Ros, Pan Sonic‎, and Múm. Also has his own solo record out “Englabörn‎” on Touch Records‎.
Hörður Bragason‎: Member of Hr.Ingi.r‎, and is the church organist‎ in Iceland’s largest congregation‎.
Úlfur Eldjárn‎: Member of Kanada‎ and Trabant‎.
Músíkvatur‎: Has collaborated with Múm.

There is one more member to the Apparat Organ Quartet, although the name would imply that the list should be completed with the four members mentioned above. The fifth member is the drummer, and because he plays drums‎ he isn’t considered to be part of the “organ quartet”. He is:

Arnar Geir Ómarsson‎: Member of Ham‎.

The quartet has only one album‎ out at the moment, an album which they have been working on for multiple years‎. It is self titled and was released by TMT Entertainment‎, an off-shoot of Thule Records‎. The CD includes the single “Stereo Rock & Roll” which has previously been released on a seven inch record‎ on the U.K. label 13amp‎.

Track list:

  1. Romantika
  2. Stereo Rock & Roll
  3. The Anguish of Space-Time
  4. Cruise Control
  5. Ondula Nova
  6. Global Capital
  7. Seremonia
  8. Charlie Tango
  9. Sofdu litla vel

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