Bad Taste 4 Ever is an evening of art of edge cutting, music and literature. Everything is possible during the night as there will be a crossing of cultures, disciplines and people.
Byrkir has been fighting the Devil for as long as he can can remember . He is currently in hell, screaming at the Beast but without making any sounds what so ever . This can be hard . But his love is strong and his mind is set . His weapon of choice in this great battle is a manipulated icelandic tounge witch he will use without hesitation at every oppurtunity, at every foe .Love him because he loves you to .Friður .
The inimitable husky tones of Iceland’s Lay Low to hit the headlines will penetrate your heart as fast your ears. Combining kooky northern charm with smoky bar-room blues, Lay Low has taken the Icelandic music scene by storm and is all set to blow a few minds across the sea as well.
Described as a country-blues balladeer and a breath of fresh air, Lay Low is in fact the 24-year-old Lovisa Elisabet. Her debut album “Please Don´t Hate Me” has been topping the Icelandic charts since its release in October 2006, delighting the country’s critics and music lovers alike. The album was the most sold original album in Iceland 2006 and is reaching platinum every minute now. Nominated for four of the 2006 Icelandic Music Awards, Lay Low received more nominations than any other musician, which is pretty cool and she eventually went home with 3 awards.
Lay Low’s rapid rise to relative stardom has a touch of fairytale magic to it. She quietly uploaded a few songs onto “MySpace” and within a very short time things started to take off. Longtime friend and musician Magnús Öder co-produced the album with Lovisa, mixing the final sounds of keyboards, slide-guitar and banjo among others, playing many of the instruments himself. Her other longtime friends Bassi and Sibbi played drums and banjo on the album and all of them three; Magnus, Bassi and Sibbi join her live.
An intoxicating mixture of blues, country and a gentle sound all of her own, Lay Low has attracted a lot of well deserved attention with “Please Don’t Hate Me”, an impressive debut by anyone’s standards. “Beautiful arrangements, a natural charm, sincere soulful blues and bare bone ballads” – the praise continues to flow from many quarters for this distinctive singer/songwriter who hails from Reykjavik.
With a musical maturity beyond her years, Lay Low has delivered some fine compositions. Authentic and compelling, her live performances create a stir to match that surrounding the recorded offerings. The world beckons, so watch out for her on tour in your neck of the woods. Laid back she may be, but Lovisa and her boys won’t be allowed to lay low for very long.
Lay Low has been traveling the world this year performing at Midem in Cannes, by:Larm in Norway, The Great Escape in Brighton, Los Angeles, New York, London, PopKomm plus a UK tour in November/December.
On top of all this above then Lay Low made her debut appearance in theater when she took on the role as music director for the Pulitzer Prize play “How I Learned to Drive” written by Paula Vogel. Not only did Lay Low write the music for the play but ended up performing it on stage with great reviews. The play has been sold out from show one and stopped for a full house at the end of February. The play was staged at the theater in Akureyri which is on the north side of Iceland. The music from the play has just been released on CD and it includes five new original tracks in Icelandic from Lay Low plus eight Dolly Parton cover in Lay Low style. Its been an instant hit and its just embarrasing how much its played on the radio . . .
Lay Low has already started work on her next album. She went to London in February to work with producer Liam Watson at Toe Rag Studios. They did two tracks together to feel the vibe on each other and vibe was good so a full album session is scheduled in June.
Riceboy Sleeps are the two Iceland based artists Alex Somers and Jon Thor Birgisson, jointly authoring works on paper as we well as video works and soundscapes.
Riceboy work from found objects, this is done both in reference to Icelandic rooting as well as Beuysian aesthetics. It is fair to say that Riceboy’s work begins with the written word, in old books specifically. Yet it is not the contents of the books but their visual appearance, their markings and traces of being used, which lead on to their drawings being layered on top of the worn pages. The drawings in turn are photographed and inserted in old window frames, withered from the elements with their layers of chipped paint and the drips of old paint and dust on the glass exposed.The result of this process are poetic slight-handed drawings of boyhood memories traced on the remnants of quite literally a house. The work speaks of innocence and an intact world order, with time passing over the memory in changing seasons. The objects speak of beauty. One could leave it at that as the works are in many ways simply enchanting.
Riceboy construct their works from multiple sources and multiple meanings. They belie the simplicity of the result. The meanings are meticulously unearthed akin to an archealogical dig, the delapidation of the book pages is given a new meaning by the addition of the drawings, which in turn function like a graffiti scrawl. The drawings grow out of stains in the book, their fast and unfinished strokes are not authored by one but two artists, we do not find out which. Other markings appear, notes, unfinished words, numbers. We do not find out who added them and when. They give the torn pages new meanings. But rather than being complete messages they are encrypted, made sometime in the past or recently, like the dust gathered on the windowframes they shift, transmute form other markings. The objects become performative, or in contemporary terms like animations.
Riceboy Sleeps are a collective of two artists and by default,as found object are used, by other unnamed authors, who all contribute to the works. They are symbols of collective memory or rather representations of snippets of memory. By turning the drawings and notes on book pages into a photograph, the first part of the work is fixed at some point, yet when being inserted into the windowframes with their markings and stains the process begins again to the point where the works become open-ended ciphers.
Riceboy’s videos function along the same collage technique of piecing together found super8 footage, allowing for the flickering of spliced filmtape to form new marks or rhythmic incisions which in turn are overlayed with sound elements to form dreamlike sequences. The sound here is incidental as it becomes another mark made over someone else’s memory.
The complete absence of subjectivity is “ a little Piece of the Real” in the sense of Slavoij Žižek, whereby the stain becomes the subject itself. Riceboy Sleeps works emerge from post-modern thinking by offering endless possibilities of interpretation, allowing for the collective unconscious to become part of the continuing ritual of reading and re-reading the marks.
Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason (b. 1977) is an icelandic, poet, writer, musician and artist. He has published two books in his native language, Gamall þrjótur, nýjir tímar (“Old villain, new times”) a book of poetry was published in 2005 as a part of Nýhil’s Nordic Literature series. It was preceded by the critically acclaimed novella Úfin, strokin (“Ruffled, stroked /Tangled, preened”), released in 2005 and described as “a detective boy novel updated for modern girls”. Recently he published a book of artwork in Japan, To fruits turn the youth accompanied by English and Japanese translations of his poetry. Örvar is a founding and active member of Icelandic experimental band múm, but is also known for his work with other bands such as Benni Hemm Hemm, Singapore Sling, Slowblow, Skakkamanage, Borko, FM Belfast and the legendary Reprasensitive Man. As a member of múm he has worked in various media, writing for theater, film and radio and collaborated with national orchestras, as well as with avant-garde beatniks. He studied screenwriting at FAMU in Prague. Örvar has taken part in various collective art shows, as well as having three solo shows of artwork in galleries in Japan in the past two years. Örvar goes swimming every day and enjoys eating things with a spoon.
Ragnar Kjartansson is born 1976. He was conceived on the set of Iceland’s first erotic thriller called “Morðsaga”. In the movie there is a love scene where his mother plays a lonely housewife and his father a plumber coming to fix the dishwasher.
So right from the begining his life has been surrounded by acting and actors, make belive and showbiz wich are essential elements in his art.
Ragnar gratuated from the Reykjavík Housewife school in 1997 and from the Icelandic Art Academy in 2001. He has held some twelve solo exhibitions and participated in over thirty groupshows. In his art Ragnar works simultaniously in performances, video, paintings and sculpture.
Ragnar has also been in active in Reykjavík’s music scene with bands such as Kosý, Kanada, Funerals and Trabant. Ragnar will represent Iceland in the Venice Bienale in 2009.