A few years ago, I accidentally stumbled upon the experimental, minimal-techno duo that is Kiasmos. Their music really stole my heart from the first beat and has been the soundtrack to some of my most incredible journeys (most recently – and relevantly – being my ten day hitchhiking trip around Iceland). Now, I have been fortunate enough to bring their music to a new personal level by attending a recent show they performed at Howler: Pitch Music and Arts presents Kiasmos.
The duo is comprised of Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds and synth pop master Janus Rasmussen from the Faroe Islands. Becoming best friends through the music they create together, they produce a unique sound filled with ambient beats, loops and synth interlaced with touches of classical music in the form of strings and piano. It is a truly magical and beautiful sound that I have yet to hear recreated by any other artist.
Going into the gig, I had absolutely no idea what to expect and was filled with an intense curiosity as to how the night was going to progress. Was it going to be more minimal? Or a bit upbeat? Maybe a little dark?
To put it in one word, the night was striking. I found the music and performance incredibly captivating and was impressed by the stage presence of the two. They engaged with the crowd remarkably well and their flow and energy was exceptional from the first note they played.
There were all the tracks I could have asked for: ‘Looped’ was hypnotic, ‘Lit’ left me entranced, and ‘Swayed’ got the entire room doing a little shuffle in time with the strobe lights frenetically bouncing around the room. Looking at my plus one from time to time, it was clearly evident on her face that she was having as good of a time as I was.
The music Kiasmos creates is as dramatic and as mesmerising as the Icelandic landscape itself. It is evident that they have been highly influenced by their natural surroundings, and you can almost feel the power of the geysers, the volcanoes and the raw landscape expressed through their music. If someone were to ask me what Iceland sounds like, without hesitation I would point them in Kiasmos’ direction.
Dotti (Nicole) Mazga is a law student currently learning how to make the world a better place in Melbourne. When she’s not hitting the books, you can find her consuming any theatre, dance, or space-related event she can get her hands on.
‘Pitch Music and Arts presents Kiasmos’ ran for one night at Howler on March 8. Novel host a wealth of other incredible musical experiences, including the guaranteed to be great ‘Friends Of Friends Rooftop Party with Wolf & Lamb’ on March 19. Purchase tickets now.