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dj. flugvél og geimskip (IS) – “Elsta lag í heimi”

We’ve been keeping track of Iceland’s cat-loving, psychedelic elf-muse dj. flugvél og geimskip, for close to half a decade now. Last Friday, she released her newest album, Our Atlantis (and a corresponding interactive 3D world), which takes her self-described “outer space electronic music” to even darker new depths. “Elsta lag í heimi,” also listed on Soundcloud as “Oldest Song in the Universe,” is among the album’s very most bizarre, playfully ghostly highlights.

“Elsta lag í heimi” opens with xylophone-like synths that segue into dj. flugvél, real name Steinunn Eldflaug Harðardóttir, singing over quarter-note kick drums, staccato high hats, and synths that sound equally like deeply bent guitar notes and a reimagining of the Luigi’s Mansion score. Harðardóttir’s Icelandic lyrics mask exactly what she’s singing about, but her tone is far more important than whatever she’s saying.  The contrast between the nasal falsetto in which she sings and the delirious omens of her soundscapes suggests a simultaneous grimness and innocence, a duality that the song’s video nails.

Rife with neon, crystals, fog machines, strobe lights, snakeskin, cats playing keyboards, and weird dancing, the video for “Elsta lag í heimi” is pretty much a thesis statement on the lovable oddity of dj flugvél og geimskip. Whether the video depicts Harðardóttir singing into a glass high heel, moving her body in ways that are far more filled with childlike wonder and gaze than with the frequently sensual overtones of pop music-adjacent dance forms, or pouring psychedelic liquid out of a kettle, it’s a short but informative display of the full breadth of her truly idiosyncratic nature.

Our Atlantis offers 46 minutes of insight into Harðardóttir’s borderline ineffable weirdness, through eleven songs that reference sphinxes, apocalypses, and pretty much the entire world (literally—one track is titled “Our World Is Way Too Big”). No wonder her artist name is the Icelandic translation for “DJ airplane and spaceship”—she can really take listeners anywhere.

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