Bloodgroup - Tracing Echoes
Synthpop, New Romantics I discovered this band when i was in Reykjavik in March last year. I went to the 12 Tonar CD shop at the Harpa and asked for some good Icelandic dark music. The guy behind the counter tipped the album 'Dry Land' by this to me unknown Icelandic act Bloodgroup. I bought it blind, and when back in the Netherlands i put it on and was blown away.

'Tracing Echoes' is their new album. Just as 'Dry Land' i got me an original Icelandic pressing at 12 tonar when i was in Reykjavik last week and damn, this one is even better than 'Dry Land'. Iceland has had a very productive alternative music scene, because Iceland gives its youth a good music education, and the long dark winter is also very useful to get around a fireplace and play some music together. Most Icelanders have musical instruments around in their houses, so being able to play is very common over there.

Icelandic music has a very special dreamy quality to it. This is also know from well know Icelandic acts like Bjork, Sigur Ros or Gusgus, and this can also be clearly heard in the music of Bloodgroup. "Tracing echoes" has dark cold overtones, and it is not hard to imagine the long winter, the lack of sunlight and the northern lights when hearing this album. Like all Icelandic music it is quite hard to place it stylistically but the music on this album would be somewhere between Portishead, The Knife, Austra and Deine Lakaien.

The tracks are mainly slow and have very heavy bass work. The songs are well crafted pop songs in which male and female vocals mix, much like their fellow countryman Gusgus. High points to me are the very Portishead like track "Nothing Is Written In The Stars", the synthpop of "Cut Out Your Tongue" and the ritual ambient beauty of "A King's Woe". The entire album is quite slow with beatiful melodies, good singing and a very slick production with a lot of reverb for an atmospheric sound.

'Tracing Echoes' might very well wind up very high in my list of best releases of 2013. Its a hauntingly beautiful album with ten songs which are all hit, no filler. People to which i pointed out this band and who checked them out, all agreed this is a very good band. If you are into good progressive darkwave or just good dark pop music in general you cant afford to miss this release. Iceland might be a small country with only 320.000 inhabitants, but its musical legacy remains impressive from the days of the first Icelandic bands like Kukl, Theyr (first bands Bjork was in) and purrkurr pillnikk to the current days with Sigur Ros, Gusgus and now Bloodgroup. Get this, you won't regret it!
5
Brutal Resonance

Bloodgroup - Tracing Echoes

9.5
"Amazing"
N/A
Electroracle
Spotify
Released 2013 by AdP Records
I discovered this band when i was in Reykjavik in March last year. I went to the 12 Tonar CD shop at the Harpa and asked for some good Icelandic dark music. The guy behind the counter tipped the album 'Dry Land' by this to me unknown Icelandic act Bloodgroup. I bought it blind, and when back in the Netherlands i put it on and was blown away.

'Tracing Echoes' is their new album. Just as 'Dry Land' i got me an original Icelandic pressing at 12 tonar when i was in Reykjavik last week and damn, this one is even better than 'Dry Land'. Iceland has had a very productive alternative music scene, because Iceland gives its youth a good music education, and the long dark winter is also very useful to get around a fireplace and play some music together. Most Icelanders have musical instruments around in their houses, so being able to play is very common over there.

Icelandic music has a very special dreamy quality to it. This is also know from well know Icelandic acts like Bjork, Sigur Ros or Gusgus, and this can also be clearly heard in the music of Bloodgroup. "Tracing echoes" has dark cold overtones, and it is not hard to imagine the long winter, the lack of sunlight and the northern lights when hearing this album. Like all Icelandic music it is quite hard to place it stylistically but the music on this album would be somewhere between Portishead, The Knife, Austra and Deine Lakaien.

The tracks are mainly slow and have very heavy bass work. The songs are well crafted pop songs in which male and female vocals mix, much like their fellow countryman Gusgus. High points to me are the very Portishead like track "Nothing Is Written In The Stars", the synthpop of "Cut Out Your Tongue" and the ritual ambient beauty of "A King's Woe". The entire album is quite slow with beatiful melodies, good singing and a very slick production with a lot of reverb for an atmospheric sound.

'Tracing Echoes' might very well wind up very high in my list of best releases of 2013. Its a hauntingly beautiful album with ten songs which are all hit, no filler. People to which i pointed out this band and who checked them out, all agreed this is a very good band. If you are into good progressive darkwave or just good dark pop music in general you cant afford to miss this release. Iceland might be a small country with only 320.000 inhabitants, but its musical legacy remains impressive from the days of the first Icelandic bands like Kukl, Theyr (first bands Bjork was in) and purrkurr pillnikk to the current days with Sigur Ros, Gusgus and now Bloodgroup. Get this, you won't regret it! May 01 2013

Pieter Winkelaar

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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