Sunday, April 24, 2016
Hinn Islenski Thursaflokkur - Hinn Íslenzki Þursaflokkur (Iceland 1978)
The Band consisted of:
Asgeir Oskarsson on drums and vocals,
Egill Olafsson,vocals and keyboards,
Tomas M. Tomasson on bass, keyboards and vocals,
Thordur Arnason on guitar and vocals
who are now to be found in Studmenn,
Karl J. Sighvatsson, keyboards and vocals along with
Runar Vilbergsson, fagot.
They have done four albums, namely:
- Hinn Islenzki ?ursaflokkur (1978)
(or: Hinn Islenski Thursaflokkur)
- A hljomleikum (1980)
(or: A hljomleikum)
-G?ti eins veri? (1982)
(or: Gaeti eins verid)
Their music is very unique and very good in its own right with odd meters and constant time changes, lots of dynamics, quirky rhythmic and melodic motifs, excellent musicianship, a healthy variety in their sound, even within the same song, and well performed, if sometimes odd, vocals. This album is mostly a collection of Icelandic folk songs, some of which are several hundred years old. Hinn Islenzki Thursaflokkur took these old melodies and stories and gave them their own unique twist. These songs appear to retain a strong connection to their folk roots, but rock and classical motifs are also added liberally to the mix. The result is deliciously progressive, but it seem s that prog rock was not necessarily what the band was aiming for. Not all the songs fit into the common conception of progressive rock, but by the same token, all of the music sounds quite original.
Probably the closest comparison this writer can make to a better known progressive rock band is to Gentle Giant or Von Zamla, the last revision of the original Samla Mamas Manna name. This is largely due to the presence of bassoon in both bands, but a general vibe of Nordic folk weirdness is also a common thread. Unlike Von Zamla, however, Hinn Islenzki Thursaflokkur s music is less experimental, more traditional and incorporates a vocalist. The instrumentation is guitar, a variety of keyboards, bass, drums, and sometimes bassoon, all played with plenty of enthusiam and intensity. All songs are sung in Icelandic, but lyrics are printed in the CD booklet in English and Icelandic, as are the stories behind the songs, providing an educational read while listening to the music. Piano, electric guitar, bass guitar drums round out the rest of the instrumentation. Hinn Islenzki Thrusaflokkur is far from all the well-worn paths of pop, rock, folk, so-called world music and even progressive rock you may have ever traveled. These remarkable albums are strongly recommended to anyone wanting to expand their musical horizons far beyond the norm.
Thursaflokkurinn (The Band of Dunces) shared members with Spilverk Thjodana and Studmenn, but they were easily the most ambitious of those bands. Fronted by singer Egill Olafsson, Thursaflokkurinn attempted to create a 100% Icelandic music, sounding like nothing else in the process. They never quite achieved their goal-- fans of King Crimson and Jethro Tull would tell you that-- but they certainly came very close. This is the first album.
1. Einsetumaður einu sinni 5:31
2. Sólnes 5:05
3. Stóðum tvö í túni 4:03
4. Hættu að gráta Hringaná 2:45
5. Nútíminn 5:01
6. Búnaðarbálkur 4:20
7. Vera mátt góður 0:53
8. Grafskript 6:46