Real changes come not from capitals, but from nowhere at all. Entertainment capitals like London or Los Angeles might foster the sort of manufactured comfort listeners have come to expect from most modern music, but it's the less traveled spaces that deserve the most attention. Which is where Iceland comes in: This 17-strong mountain of remote indie acts is brave and stupid, strange and awful -- and listeners shouldn't have it any other way. From the terrifyingly absurd, guttural disco-rap of Funktrasse's "HM Atómíka (Heimsmeistarakeppni í Bassaleik)" to the glacier-encrusted XTC stylings of Rúnar Júlíusson & Unun's "Hann Mun Aldrei Gleym'Enni," most of the time these underfunded, undertrained attempts fail miserably. But idealistic failures are better than complacent trash any day. Take an early Bellatrix (Kolrassa Krokrídandi), an even earlier and shambolic Frostbite (Einar Orn Benediktsson's Kali), or even the very first recording by Sigur Rós ever released (going under the Victory Rose tag). Any one of them displays a fearlessness rarely found anymore. Indeed, historians of parallel worlds get those notepads out: It shouldn't be long before Camden bands ditch those Vespas and start singing in fake Icelandic accents.
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AllMusic Review by Dean Carlson