BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa
Vikinga Brennivin
CD HMS 004

Signal To Noise
by Ethan Covey
Issue 38, Summer 2005

A tribute of sorts to the harsh Icelandic liquor brennivin, Vikinga Brennivin is fittingly woozy, numbing record. Both BJ Nilsen and Stilluppsteypa are famous for their ability to create dark, surrealist soundscapes from common sources, and their work here is no different. From the haunting field recordings that start the disc, through the dark drones and glacial scrapes, the musicians use a wide palate of sounds to create their windswept epics. In general, Stilluppsteypa tend to have a slightly more confrontational sound, with members Sigytryggur Berg Sigmarsson and Helgi Thorsson twisting their tones into a squirming mass. Nilsen, on the other hand, focuses mainly on creating huge, heavy backdrops that cloak the record in pudding-thick layers of drone. The record's first edition, limited to 300 copies, comes packed in gorgeous silkscreened sheets of copper foil that perfectly compliments the beautiful, alien music.