Tastemakers of the scene for a quarter of a century, GusGus are one of the most
beloved and longstanding electronic acts hailing from Iceland. Offering much more
than just unparalleled musical mastery, the group have had their feet firmly spread
across various sectors of the creative space since their inception, and would sooner
be classified as a multi-media art collective above all else. Perhaps their most
defining quality has been a colourful history of mysterious dramas and last-minute
collapses, woven amidst improbable apex moments that have no doubt made
theirs one of the most compelling journeys of any electronic ensemble to date.
With ethereal sonic finesse, the quest is it to transcends the physical realm and
galvanize a divinely hypnotic sense of release within their audiences.
On this emotional journey championing free expression and sound
experimentation, the emblematic outfit subvert the traditional electronic music
format, oscillating between analog hardware and celestial song to elicit their own
intoxicating strain of electronica.
Armed with a legendary must-see live show that encompasses all of the elements
that they are known for, on-stage GusGus extend their tracks and warp their
soundscapes in a way that is totally unique to each set, offering a ‘limited-edition’
experience for their fanbase each and every time. World-renowned for their genre-
defying style, the troupe’s eclectic infusion of modern club culture and echoes of
the past have seen them remix iconic acts such as Depeche Mode, Björk and Sigur
Rós. With the near constant presence of Biggi Veira and Daníel Ágúst, recently re-
joined (behind the scenes) by founding member
Siggi Kinski and the newly
Margrét Rán, the collective has seen a rotating cast of members, all of
whom have contributed to the artistic vibrancy that has defined the group and its
production output over its 25 year-long career.
Initially formed as a multi-media collective in 1995 by filmmakers Stefán Árni and
Siggi Kinski, the project was extended to DJ Maggi Lego (aka Herb Legowitz),
programmer Biggi Veira, vocalist/actors Daníel Ágúst, Hafdís Huld rastardóttir,
Magnús Jónsson and manager Baldur Stefánsson to soundtrack and star in their
short “Nautn” film. Released later that year, the score materialised as the band’s
debut album, simply titled “GusGus”. Being a quirky several-member co-ed music
group from Reykjavik, Iceland, GusGus were bound to inspire evaluations towards
the Sugarcubes and soon caught the attention of the group’s founding label
Adding further material to their self-titled LP, GusGus went global with
“Polydistortion” in 1997 via the Indie scene’s leading imprint, unveiling trip-hop
and modern club culture sensibilities far removed from the post-punk lunacy that
dominated the ‘80s. Grammy nominated Emilíana Torrini enjoyed a brief stint with
the band, contributing her vocals on the LP’s cuts “Why?” and “Is Jesus Your Pal”
before going on to work with Kylie Minogue on her “Body Language” album in
The more song-oriented and house-rooted “This Is Normal” hit shops in 1999.
Following two relatively informal albums, the then 9-piece outfit set about
recording a body of music reflective of their contemporary yet unorthodox nature,
which brought additional challenges of its own, as individual members played tug
of war with their personal tastes and aspirations. With the band in disarray and the
foreboding bankruptcy of drawing ever closer, the troupe’s final offering for
the label, “GusGus vs T-World”, shed new light on classic
T-World cuts and marked
the end of a tumultuous first chapter.
Renewed inspiration struck on the final night of their post-“GusGus vs T-World”
tour, prompting the creation of their Underwater
-released “Attention” (2002), with the album’s leading track “David” subsequently hitting #1 in the clubs of Germany. A short stint with Pineapple in 2007 saw new material in the form of “Forever”,
channelling a mixture of acid-inspired synths and streamlined dance songs. GusGus most recently associated with the prestigious Kompakt for an interval during which
the regular membership was reduced to a trio, eventually swelling again into a
quintet. Whilst affiliated with the Cologne, Germany-based imprint, they released
the sprawling “24/7” (2009), which paved the way for further LP releases “Arabian
Horse” (2011) and “Mexico” (2014).
As is the current mode, and in accordance with
their fiercely independent outlook, the band broke free of the label system
altogether to release their 11 th
and most recent studio album on their own Oroom
imprint. “Lies Are More Flexible” (2018) capitalised on ambient, down-tempo,
progressive dance and neo-electronic infusions, whilst remaining tethered to the
group’s 80’s Italo disco and Synthwave tones.
After 25 years of music, memories and unforgettable live performances, GusGus
unfold into a new era with the announcement of their upcoming 2021 album.
Rejuvenated and replete with creative aspiration, the collective welcome Vök’s
Margrét Rán as the newest member of the circus, calling upon her illustrious dream-
pop vocals to launch a new chapter in the GusGus saga. Offering an immersive
montage of short stories that will serve as their most ambitious and forward-
thinking LP to date, “Mobile Home” echoes the world’s forgotten purpose, lost
between screens of distraction and material consciousness. This conceptual
manifesto is the embodiment of GusGus and their idelogyr world; a virtuous blend of