Stilluppsteypa
s/t

2004 Atak CD


Track Listing:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7. (for andrew mckenzie - takk takk fyrir)
8. (for andrew mckenzie - takk takk fyrir)
9.
10.
11.
12.
13. (for vindva mei - bless / hallo)
14.
15.
16.


Press Release:

The third original album from ATAK is at once the first by a non-Japanese artist. Originally an Icelandic garage band, Stilluppsteypa have been distributing an original blend of their punk roots and minimal electronic music through various labels. After a first appearance at ATAK on the 60 Sound Arists Against The War compilation, a full album on the label comes rather surprising. The combo's freakish attire and unpredictable style mix do seem to go well with ATAK's reputable minimalism and monochromatic simplicity in sound, design, and album titles. The music here ranges in fact from what may have been recorded during street performances in Paris, via easy-listening kind of melodies, to aggressive experimentation in the darker spheres of electronica. Closing with a 23 minute-long sound art piece, this is the most eventful ATAK release to date. The contrasts between the images of musicians and label, and between acoustic and optical presentation add to it a nicely ambiguous element that might open new doors to ATAK.

Reviews:

The Wire, Issue 248
October 2004


Earlier this year, filmmaker Agnieszka Jurek produced a documentary on David Lynch for which she employed Stilluppsteypa’s Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson to compose the soundtrack. In hindsight, the connection between Stilluppsteypa and Lynch is obvious, as both manifest a narcotized disassociation of signifiers through their respected mediums. On their first album in over two years, the Icelandic duo of Sigmarsson and Helgi Thorsson continue to destabilize minimalism and electronica through a nerve-wracked rewiring of the source material. Giddy lego beats saturated with cheap coconut rum mutate into nightmarishly intense post-techno rhythms and disturbed harmonies. A glacial stream of droning noise and raygun pulsations undergird the violent shifts in rhythm, eventually usurping them in an equally unstable radioluminescence within the extended coda to this magnificent record. - Jim Haynes

Aquarius Records

While certainly not by design, the Icelandic duo of Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson and Helgi Thorsson have kept a relatively low profile as Stilluppsteypa during the past couple of years. Sigmarsson kept himself busy with his own solo projects of likeminded isolationist spectroscopy and grandiose electronic absurdities, but Stilluppsteypa have only managed two albums since 2002 including The Immediate Past Is Of No Interest To Us and this eponymous album from 2004 on the obscure Japanese label Atak. The simple fact that Thorsson has been living in Amsterdam and Sigmarsson has been continuing his studies in Hannover helps explain the slow working process of the two these days. Nevertheless, when they do manage to get together to fire off another raygun blast of high-voltage rhythms crossed with clinical dronescaping, it's always amazing.
On this album, Stilluppsteypa pick up where they left off with The Immediate Past and their 2001 masterpiece Stories Part Five. Mechanical whirlings and abrasively tense drones steadily build into giddy episodes for electo-bossanova beats and carnivalesque melodies. Where most of Stilluppsteypa's contemporaries would treat such source materials with fart jokes and a purile disregard for quality, Stilluppsteypa take a considerable amount of pride in scripting inventive electronica juxtapositions with remarkable technique and theatrical panache. In many ways, Sigmarsson and Thorsson are emerging as the equals of B.C. Gilbert and Graham Lewis in all of their extra-cirricular activities outside of Wire. Great stuff.

Trust

Wer kennt sie nicht, die filme des David Lynch. Jene alptraumhaften exkursionen, im cineastischen niemandsland zwischen psychatrie und samenerguß. Nicht nur visuell gängige konventionen sprengend, sondern auch den geduldsnerv des zuschauers gerne malträtierend, fanden Lynchs absonderlichkeiten Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive oder Twin Peaks jedoch nie so recht ihre entsprechung in phonetischen fragen.
Eraserhead einmal ausgenommen, fischte hollywoods querdenker zumeist im trüben gewässer ordinärer mainstreamverstrickungen. Gut möglich, dass die internationale klangkunstgilde all die jahre um entsprechende equivalente verlegen war. Aber diese ausrede gilt nun nicht mehr, denn mit seinem neuen selbstbetitelten album katapultiert sich das isländische dreigestirn Stilluppsteypa an die vorderste kreativfront der potentiellen Lynch-vertoner.
Die günde dafür liegen auf der hand. Ihr oeuvre ist artsy minus fartsy, elektro minus techno, noise minus krawall, chaos minus anarchie, gletschereis minus streusalz, groovy minus disco, grollend minus gewitter, ambient minus plastic surgery, instrumental minus schwanzverlängerung, cinemascope minus seifenoper, urgewalt minus zerstörungskraft, luftig minus höhenkoller, rüttelnd minus schleudertrauma, absonderlich minus unhörbar, schräg minus schieflage... Anders ausgedrückt: Nach 10 mehr oder weniger schaffensintensiven jahren, gelingt es den insulanischen thermaltüftlern anno 2004 zum ersten mal ein soundspektrum zu schaffen, welches trotz seiner konzeptuellen kantigkeit nie unzugänglich bleibt. ATAK, in anlehnung an das veröffentlichende label mein imaginärer lieblingsplattentitel, entzückt vielmehr durch kleine überraschende momente gestörter harmonie.
Gerade dann nämlich, wenn sich der sound aus losem surren, kratzen, schleifen und gepucker zu einem fast schon harmonischen illbient teppich konsolidiert, durchschneiden angriffslustige störgeräusche die aufkeimende idylle. Ganz so als wollen sie sagen: Get out of here while you can, this was just a warning, the next strike willl be an ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON. - Torsten Meyer