Sigur Ros - Saeglopur [EMI - 2006]Only a year since Sigur Ros released the massively successful Takk comes this little Gem of a release. A double disk set with only disk containing a four track EP, the other a DVD with three promotional videos.
The EP consists of three new tracks and the superlative Saeglopur from Takk. It is this previously released track that begins the CD after a short intro of frog song the familiar piano chords arrive. This song like Hoppipolla has been rather jumped upon by everyone from advertising to bad BBC what to wear shows. This however should not detract from the fact that both songs are fantastic examples of Sigur Ros bombastic flare for orchestration and cinematic rock/classical mix. Refur the first of the new tracks is a less bombastic piano led piece that bathes in layers of reverb as minimal bass leads the rhythm. O Fridur begins with clipped and processed orchestral swells and little reverse electronics in the background. Piano and drone joins the mix giving the track an almost Eno feel to it. The vocals are understated and quite beautiful, far more downbeat than the majority of material on Takk.
Final track Kafari is a quite abstract piece using mostly light bells and xylophone, which undergo various minimal processing, layering etc. Slow drawn out violin finishes off the piece.
The music videos are all superb, and really fly in the face of the overbudgetted dross that you see on MTV and the like. The video for Saeglopur is an artfully shot set piece where a boy watched by his mother dives into the sea only to be chased and eventually killed by a giant octopus. This may sound a bit odd but it’s done with that soap advert gloss that makes it quite attractive to the eye.
The video for Hoppipolla is a very sweet idea where a group of senior citizens act like little kids for a day. Knocking on peoples doors and running away, spraying graffiti and having bust ups with rival gangs of kids. It’s quite sweet really.
The last video for Glosoli is the best though. It follows a group of children dressed like a little marching band as they move across Iceland’s gorgeous landscapes, sulphur marches, lava fields they are all here, at the end the kids all throw themselves off a cliff and flay away, all but one that is.Duncan Simpson