Skvettir edik á ref (2002)
The first release outside of his homeland for Iceland’s STAFRÆNN HÁKON, centred around the majestic soundscapes of Olafur Josephsson, a young man with incredible talent and a big future. “Skvettir Edik A Ref” doesn’t represent his recording debut, but it certainly announces his arrival on the international scene in a grand style; this is the first of two STAFRÆNN HÁKON albums to be re-released on Resonant after initially being available in Iceland only via Olafur’s own label Vogor Recordings (“I Astaandi RJ Punnar” follows early next year), and collectively they form the finest body of work in the post-rock genre in years. Resonant have also committed to releasing the first new studio album for two years from the band early in 2004. That said, to pigeonhole STAFRÆNN’s work as post-rock doesn’t even tell half the story. Bringing to mind Labradford, Tarentel or an instrumental Sigur Ros, his music is epic, incredibly emotive and atmospheric – and though the component parts tread a fairly familiar path, the end product is anything but formulaic.
Stafrænn Hákon started in early 1999 after splitting from his original college band ‘Sullaveiki bandormurinn’ experimenting with guitars & drum loops. After being a guitarist in his previous band, Stafrænn was craving to create his own musical sound-world based on distorted guitars and various instruments. Things started slowly at first mostly writing unsweeping ambient guitarworks onto his 4-track recorder. Whilst exploring his own sound and his discovery of the world of drum machines and loops, Stafrænn Hákon began to write more ‘proper-songs’ on his 4-track. The year is 2001 and Stafrænn is playing songs known to be on his debut EP ‘Eignast Jeppa’ self-released on his own Vogor recording outfit. Songs such as ‘Vomiz’, the opener on ‘Eignast Jeppa’ and ‘Sítrónudurgur’ were Stafrænn´s new style of writing his works.
It was in early June 2001 that Stafrænn decided to take is EP and try to sell it in the local underground record shop ‘Hljómalind’. The EP sold around 150-200 copies at the shop. In late 2001 Stafrænn had already written his second work entitled ‘í ástandi rjúpunnar’, which was much darker and the sound was far more ambient than it´s predecessor. This work saw Stafrænn collaborating with his previous band mate S.Sammi who wrote 2 songs on the album. The album was self-released again on Vogor records in mid-January 2002. In March 2002 Stafrænn opened up a show for Godspeed You Black Emperor, which might be the peak of his career so far. Again Stafrænn was ready with another album in spring time of 2002. The album ‘Skvettir edik á ref’ was again self-released on Vogor in July 2002. This time Stafrænn put more blood into the manufacturing part, and the cover art and sleeve were homemade during the summer of 2002 as a digipack. Released 30th August 2003.
Album was recorded, mixed and mastered at home.
All songs by Stafrænn Hákon except KOFI & SAFI by Samuel White & Stafrænn Hákon.
Þröstur Sigurðsson played trombone on EFLING & SAFI