The Gentlemen of Iceland Airwaves- Kristján from Sykur and KRELD

Only three weeks until the madness begins! We can keep us calm with The Gentlemen of Airwaves while we wait.

One of the most rememberable Airwaves performances have been brought by the electronic band Sykur. I promise you won´t leave the venue without sweat on places you didn´t know you could sweat on. Diverging from his work with Sykur, Kristján Eldjárn released the song Way Low with his new solo project KRELD which is an Airwaves must see this year. I met up with Kristján Eldjárn and of course we did the Airwaves talk.

What is the best thing about being a musician from Iceland?

I think the best thing about being a musician from Iceland is the camaraderie. There is a certain sense of team spirit between all the bands, and it’s all basically a large group of friends. Everyone kind of goes out of their way to help each other out and people are very supportive, so there is very little in the way of competitiveness.

How many shows is Sykur and KRELD playing at Iceland Airwaves? 

Wow, I have no idea! At least one with Sykur, two with Kreld and one with Kött Grá Pje, but the schedule isn’t up yet so I guess I know just about as much as you do!

Which artists were you inspired by when growing up? 

Growing up, I listened to a lot of the early Warp Records stuff, like Autechre, Boards of Canada and Broadcast. I also listened to a lot of the pioneers of electronic music like Mort Garson, in particular his album Plantasia, which was apparently supposed to be a series of compositions to be played for growing plants. I also have this really guilty pleasure for 80′s power ballads…

What bands will you be checking out at the festival? 

I’m really excited about seeing Kate Tempest play, I’ve been listening to her for a while and she’s got really good lyrics and good flow. I’m also going to see Leyya. Their album Spanish Disco Deluxe, which was released this year, is really good and I’m looking forward to seeing them live. Lastly, I’m really excited about seeing Ayia play. They are one of the freshest bands to come out of Iceland in a long time.

Have you gained that Airwaves feeling yet? 

Definitely! There’s always this mixture of excitement and anxiety during the months leading up to Airwaves. Everyone is getting ready to show their best side, and in most cases these are the Icelandic acts’ most ambitious performance of the year.

Any Iceland Airwaves advice for the people out there? 

Pick a venue, get there early, and stay there for the night rather than going all out on venue hopping! That way you skip all queues and you’ll probably discover some amazing bands that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Also, don’t skip any afterparties you’re invited to even if you’re tired. You can sleep when Airwaves is over.

Pictures by Rakel Unnur Thorlacius for Bast Magazine.

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