For the start of spontaneous Icelandic theme hour, I first joined crazy ride of the electro and synth pop maverick Kuldaboli who has been one of my recent favorites. After such intensity and an isotonic drink, next up were placid sounds by Aðalsteinn Guðmundsson aka Yagya, one of Iceland’s electronic wonders who in 2020 launched Small Plastic Animals. Now if his new EP “Always Maybe Tomorrow” on the label would be the sole sonic evidence from 2021, recovered by our descendants in a thousand years, they would believe we were living in a futuristic paradise.
The catalogue number ‘2SPA’ tells where we stand: spin the four-tracker in the morning and get a day pass to spa of mental coziness. The sleeve design in a graphic novel style – artwork by Richard Ortiz – would decorate any shelf and shows the way to Styrofoam packed tunes from the very heart of dub techno. By sound, the ironically titled “The Other Side Of Despair” would translate into ‘staircase to nirvana’, offering sultry raise-your-hands journey, while floating smoothness of pads-driven “Distorted Dualism” comes with housier notes. Yagya’s therapy session continues on the B-side with “Standing Still In A River”, concealing a whirring electrical device with abundant loops, and “Two Moments” is the closest to deep house, relaxing in the sunlight. Stunning harmonies delivered from the land of Vikings.