airwaves: that’s why i-D goes to iceland
Björk might have played the entirety of Vulnicura, but with Warpaint, Santigold, Reykjavikurdaetur and Dream Wife performing, it was our female-focussed stage that we could "Notget" enough of.
Well, that was quick. Airwaves came and Airwaves went and we've been left, ears ringing, with an app full of new favourite bands and a wooly hat full of memories. Although sonically satiated by Wednesday's line-up of GKR, Sturla Atlas, Emmsje Gauti and Dizzee Rascal, then further gripped by Lord Pusswhip's low-key off venue show and the Icelandic hip hop Nonference panel discussion we took part in on Thursday, the best was yet to come. Friday night meant party night in Reykjavik as i-D hosted Harpa's Silfurberg stage.
One of the biggest venues within the impressive glass-fronted Harpa, and home to Bjork's 2011 Biophillia, festival-goers spilled into Silfurberg from the moment the doors opened and the colourful i-D visuals began playing on loop. Icelandic act aYia kicked things off with their deep red soundscapes, summoning their old music Gods and new music fans alike. Dream Wife (semi-local, with singer Rakel having relocated to the UK to study and instead finding her bandmates) were predictably awesome. "Music is great!" opened the frontwoman of the art project-turned-band before launching into a set that peaked with F.U.U featuring a guest appearance by their mate Vidgis from Reykjavikurdaetur.
Talking of which, the daughters of Reykjavik took to the stage in various shades of rainbow and performed in front of dancing middle fingers, snogging figures and stick versions of themselves, that seemed to have been drawn on Microsoft Paint. Casually choreographed, their energetic chorus ensemble dissolved into a very aggressive looking play fight before countering Jay Z's verse in Beyonce's Drunk in Love with their slutwalk anthem, telling Tina 'Anna Mae' Turner not to eat the cake like her abusive husband demanded. "It would be nice if people cared about politics the way they do about music!" one of their many members cried out. Next up, Warpaint brought the muso goodness of new album Heads Up and announced that visiting Iceland had been a dream of theirs for a long, long time. As they sung along, the swaying crowd was dotted with people dancing double time and we even caught a handful trying to mosh. Nights were made as the foursome ended on Disco/Very.
Icelandic electronic duo Kiasmos sent icy walls of sound sweeping across the room before Santigold, straight off her flight, treated the disparate youth in attendance to a some seriously great dance moves, several costume changes, and ultimately a stage invasion to rival all stage invasions. "That was the best line-up so far!" we overheard as we left the venue. And while we might be biased, we can't help but agree.
Photography Matt Martin