Gus Gus is probably the most acclaimed
and successful band to emerge from Reykjavik, Iceland since the Sugarcubes. Like
their fellow national, Bjork, they have developed a sound that is all their own:
innovative and challenging, yet accessible and even "dancefloor-friendly". The
band is a creative collective of nine members, ranging in ages from 19 to over
30 and spanning a wide spectrum of backgrounds and interests, including two film
makers, a computer programmer, a photographer, a DJ, an actor, a political
campaigner and a film producer. The band comprises Steph, Daniel Agust, Biggi
Thorarinsson, Magnus Jonsson, Herr Legowitz, Hafdis Huld, Stefan Arni, Siggi
Kjartansson and Baldur Stefansson. They assembled almost accidentally when Siggi
Kjartansson and Stefan Arni sought a cast for a short film they were making.
When shooting was postponed, songwriters Daniel and Siggi suggested they make an
album. Polydistortion was recorded in 11 hectic days and was released in Iceland
in late 1995. A copy found its way to the UK's independent label, 4AD Records,
home of the Pixies and the Cocteau Twins. Liking what they heard, 4AD signed the
band and Polydistortion was released in the UK in Spring 1997, receiving
widespread critical acclaim.
In 1997, they toured Europe and the USA, supporting bands such as Lamb and Cornershop. Alfred and Biggi remixed Depeche Mode's "Only When I Lose Myself" in 1998. Gus Gus has also established its own fashion and record label, Elf 19, to release material by various Icelandic acts. This Is Normal displayed an eclectic range of influences, taking in several styles including hip-hop, funk, electro, techno and house. Their sound has an ethereal quality, combined with funky bass and drum sounds and intelligent use of technology. Despite their experimental tendencies and often unusual lyrical themes ("Ladyshave" explores a sexual fetish), dance music is integral to their sound and influences such as Carl Craig (who remixed the single "Polyesterday"), Masters At Work, Sly Stone and Prince can be heard. The band have gained plaudits from such respected names as Madonna, Beck, the Beastie Boys, Nellee Hooper, David Byrne and the DJ, Sasha, who remixed their track "Purple" with the Light in 1998. Gus Gus Vs. T-World featured remixed versions of tracks recorded by Biggi and Legowitz (as T-World) before they joined Gus Gus.
Label: Moonshine Music
Gus Gus Vs. T-World
This Is Normal