We are proud to welcome the first Northern Hemisphere addition to the Sonorous Circle; introducing Úlfur Hansson and his musical alias, Klive, all the way from Reykjavík, Iceland!
We first fell in brotherly love with Úlfur in Australia on the Jonsi tour in August 2010 and were delighted at the opportunity to get up to date by re-releasing his 2008 album, Sweaty Psalms:
SCR010: Klive – Sweaty Psalms
Electronic music made with experimental and IDM tendencies from complex and intriguing sounds. Detailed like detritus with the character of creatures and electrified oceans. Just the right amount of grime with organic grace. Subtle audio manipulation used to create other worlds with the warmth of home. This is an album that requires patience, for there is little that is rushed and with much layering and depth it remains elusive after repeat listens. Originally self-released in Iceland in 2008, Sweaty Psalms is now available for download or on CD in limited supply from our neck of the woods!
AN INTERVIEW WITH KLIVE:
In order to make up for our immense geographical divide we asked him a few questions so you could all get to know him a little:
/ You originally released Sweaty Psalms in 2008 at the age of 20. Nice one! What was the process of making this album? What tools do you like to use?
It wasn’t a very focused project to begin with. I started making my own music a long time ago, and eventually came to a point where I recognized certain characteristics connecting some of my songs. Something I felt in these sounds outlined a path I was eager to explore – that something being a kind of liminality difficult to pin down. Venturing further towards these strong undefined emotions was very exciting. Anyway, SP was mostly made from field recordings I made during trips around town, holidays in the countryside etc – mixed with more sinister synthesis from my max/msp doodles – and finally sequenced with warm live instrumentation in Ableton.
/ Have you continued to make music for the Klive project? And if so, how does Sweaty Psalms compare with the music you have made since?
Yes! Actually, I’ll soon have a brand new album ready under the Klive moniker. I’ve been trying to evoke these aforementioned emotions, and i feel much closer to these elements than I did before. It’s more focused and not as bound to the squareness of sequencing anymore. I’ve also wanted the process to be closer to the way some creature might create music, avoiding cranial thinking without necessarily excluding the element of song. I’m very interested in the sublime, and framing something human while pretending to be an animal.
/ You also play bass in a hardcore band called ‘Swords of Chaos’. What’s the live music scene and musical community like in Iceland for both heavy and not-so-heavy music? Do the different styles intermingle?
It’s amazing! It’s like one big family, where incest isn’t only tolerated – but also an integral part of the scene. Everybody plays with everybody. It’s a constant kick in the ass, and people can widen their horizons and find similarities between different genres in one night, at the same bar. It’s cool.
/ Iceland’s musical output seems amazing from an outside perspective – you have Sigur Ros, Amiina, Björk, múm, Autistici, Ólafur Arnalds and no doubt plenty more outstanding musicians – all from a total population of 319,000?! Any ideas as to how Iceland has done so well getting such excellent music out to the world in the last ten years? And do you have any other local music to recommend?
Hmm… I don’t think it’s been any more outstanding than anything else being released in the world. Maybe we owe the hype to elves.
My favourite artists are for example Hildur Guðnadóttir, The Heavy Experience, Retron, and the Fist Fokkers.
/ We first met you as the bass player for Jónsi on the Australian leg of his world tour in 2010 and had an excellent time! How did you get involved with this and how was the rest of the tour?
Saying Reykjavík is small would be an understatement. It is tiny. I guess I met Jónsi and Alex somewhere around town, and we quickly became friends through our mutual interests. The tour changed a lot for me – before I played with these guys my biggest performances had been for about a 100 people. It also gave me more of confidence in terms of what is possible, and now my goal is to get my shit together and tour like that someday on my own terms.
/ You have elves and trolls in Iceland, no? This excites me. Got any good stories of mythical creatures from your own experiences?!
My mother was saved by a mountain lady once, she was playing around with my aunt under a cliff, when this tiny person clad in beautiful clothes told them to get the hell out of there. 20 minutes later the cliff had collapsed. It would have crushed them. I’ve never seen one though.
/ I am intrigued by the prolonged periods of constant darkness/ light you Icelandians go through each year! How many months, and when? I can’t imagine what this must do to the psyche, please tell us about the experience of this! How does each extreme change your lifestyle and the general feel of the country?
I really like it. Winter can be hard on some people, but mostly it’s very comforting to me. Mundane life becomes very mellow while engulfed by darkness. In summer people get so energized it’s crazy. A very happy go-lucky feeling goes around Reykjavík, plus some heavy drinking.
/ What in the universe excites and intrigues you the most?
The Unified Field, and the fact that there have always been people around that knew about its existence.
/ What’s your view on the current state of the world? Any current events you deem especially significant for whatever reason?
Well, they are cloning mammoths in Japan…
/ What are you working on and what are your plans for the future?
Currently all my energy is going into the next Klive album, and the future of Swords of Chaos.
/ Anything else you would like to discuss/ mention/ whatever…
Sonorous Cirle FTW.