Amiina is sort of the perfect Icelandic post-rock/electronic/experimental band. They formed as an all-woman string quartet back in the 1990s, and went on to perform as the string section for Sigur Ros.
Here’s a description from Last.fm:
Amiina’s debut album, Kurr (2007), was performed on a disparate jumble of instruments—musical saws, kalimbas, music boxes and seemingly anything that could be plucked, bowed or beaten on—resulting in a work that ebbed and flowed “in a strange, powerful place between sophistication and innocence,” according to The Guardian.
While the above is equally true of Puzzle (2010), this time around the group’s sonic palette is broadened by the contributions of drummer Magnús Trygvason Eliassen and electronic artist Kippi Kaninus (Guðmundur Vignir Karlsson), permanent members of the group since 2009. Accordingly, the songs on Puzzle are more rhythmically rugged than amiina’s previous work and feature heavier use of electronics. amiina’s long-standing fondness for zero-g melodies and open-minded instrumentation, however, continues.
“Rugla”—the song embedded below—comes from Kurr, and is a very pleasant way to wake up on a Tuesday morning . . .
Randall Jarrell once argued a point that I will now paraphrase and, in doing so, over-simplify: As a culture, we need book criticism, not book reviews. I sort of agree, but let’s not get into all of that. Having finished. . .
Like any good potboiler worth its salt, Fuminori Nakamura’s The Gun wastes no time setting up its premise: “Last night, I found a gun. Or you could say I stole it, I’m not really sure. I’ve never seen something so. . .
Heiner Resseck, the protagonist in Monika Held’s thought-provoking, first novel, This Place Holds No Fear, intentionally re-lives his past every hour of every day. His memories are his treasures, more dear than the present or future. What wonderful past eclipses. . .
If you’ve ever worked in a corporate office, you’ve likely heard the phrase, “Perception is reality.” To Björn, the office worker who narrates Jonas Karlsson’s novel The Room, the reality is simple: there’s a door near the bathroom that leads. . .
I recently listened to Three Percent Podcast #99, which had guest speaker Julia Berner-Tobin from Feminist Press. In addition to the usual amusement of finally hearing both sides of the podcast (normally I just hear parts of Chad’s side. . .
Let’s not deceive ourselves, man is nothing very special. In fact, there are so many of us that our governments don’t know what to do with us at all. Six billion humans on the planet and only six or seven. . .
“Rambling Jack—what’s that?”
“A novel. Novella, I guess.”
“Yeah, it looks short. What is it, a hundred pages?”
“Sorta. It’s a duel language book, so really, only about… 50 pages total.”
“And this—what. . .
Many authors are compared to Roberto Bolaño. However, very few authors have the privilege of having a Roberto Bolaño quote on the cover of their work; and at that, one which states, “Good readers will find something that can be. . .
In Josep Maria de Sagarra’s Private Life, a man harangues his friend about literature while walking through Barcelona at night:
When a novel states a fact that ties into another fact and another and another, as the chain goes on. . .
César Aira dishes up an imaginative parable on how identity shapes our sense of belonging with Dinner, his latest release in English. Aira’s narrator (who, appropriately, remains nameless) is a self-pitying, bitter man—in his late fifties, living again with. . .