Few artists are known for having humility and a messianic complex, which makes Iceland’s GusGus a breath of fresh air. “It has taken a handful of time to create Forever because GusGus is not God,” reads their promo. “And they need more than 6 days to create the world that is this album.”
Loaded with loopy riffs, rasps and vocals, Forever (Pineapple Records) is the trinity’s 5th record—one prepared to deliver us from messy mash-ups and clichéd claptrap. GusGus’ Viera, Earth and President Bongo share more than Bjork’s Reykjavik origin and ghostly pallor. Their sound is both ominous and light, nostalgic and futuristic—not unlike the original Icelandic deity herself.
An 80s freestyle spirit ricochets off “You’ll Never Change” and “Hold You” with charged vocals courtesy of the lovely Earth (aka Urður Hákonardóttir. Say that 5 times fast). She floats over a darker, albeit boogie-ful undercurrent, but once you succumb, DJ President Bongo rakes through the tracks with a splintered comb for a rock-n-techno-infused finish. Other notables include title track “Forever,” whose raspy electro sets you down firmly in the present, and “Moss,” a complex palate cleanser reminiscent of Orbital with Daniel Agust’s haunting vocals pulling you along.
The true gem is “Need in Me.” Singer-songwriter Aron-Carl drills a Detroit-techno core into the melody, while Earth’s syrupy “love is a growing need in me” wraps around the staccato bassline and low-tech synth. Like the earlier tracks, early-90s house sweeps in for an extended visit, introducing a darker mood to keep the new and old guard on their toes.
The low down: A fun n’ crispy napoleon with a layer of house, a layer of electro, a layer of soul, and all dance—just the kind of second coming heads have been waiting to sink their teeth into.
Listen Here: http://www.greatstuff.eu.com/gusgus_forever/
Release Date: It also seems like this spring is the time for Icelanders... Forever will be released in the US just days before Bjork’s much-awaited Volta in late April.