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Bj÷rk - Bj÷rk Gu­mundsdˇttir & Trݡ Gu­mundar Ingˇlfssonar: ‎Gling-Glˇ CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

2.64 | 28 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars Tucked away in her career amidst her days with The Sugarcubes and after her post-punk heyday with Kuki, the Icelandic diva BJÍRK released the most unusual anomaly of her career with the unpronounceable BJÍRK GUđMUNDSDËTTIR & TR═Ë GUđMUNDAR INGËLFSSONAR. Their sole album release as a quartet (yes it was she plus three) was titled GLING-GLË which is the Icelandic onomatopoeia version of "Ding Dong" which signifies the sound a bell makes. This release shows a new side of BJÍRK displaying to the world that she was more than a one trick pony. Well, maybe a two trick pony. She did have that kitschy disco pop album at the age of 11 which is virtually unknown outside of her native Iceland. The project started when Gu­mundar Ingˇlfssonar was commissioned by the Icelandic State Radio to record a set of popular instrumental standards and the trio felt it would be infinitely better with a vocalist performing in the native Icelandic language and who else could have filled the bill better than BJÍRK herself who had already put the country on the map musically with her success with The Sugarcubes.

First of all, keep in mind that GLING-GLË is mostly sung in Icelandic and was meant to be for an Icelandic audience where it actually did quite well. The majority of the tracks are short but sweet jazz standards focusing on the virtues of vocal jazz but also incorporating a bit of hard bop, Mexican salsa and even Icelandic folk into the mix. There are, however, a couple of songs sung in English at the end of the album. The instrumentation includes BJÍRK on vocals and harmonica, Gu­mundur Ingˇlfsson on piano and tambourine, Gu­mundur SteingrÝmsson on drums, maracas and Christmas bells and ١r­ur H÷gnason on bass. Despite BJÍRK being an afterthought to the project, she had a major part in the whole development process and was responsible for selecting the setlist and had her input into the creative process from the get go. She displays her usual role as band leader with her brash and bold vocalizations which in her native tongue give a sense of her roots.

This one is actually a pretty decent set of songs to enjoy. No, this will hardly blow you away if you foam at the mouth every time you hear "Homogenic" or "Vespertine," however there is a nice purity to this one where all the musicians on board are wholeheartedly focused on creating a certain experience outside of themselves. The Icelandic language which is the closest current language to Old Norse is a very rhythmic language and to hear these standards from other artists ranging from obscure American composers of the early 20th century such as Nat Simon ("Luktar-Gvendur" ("Lantern-Gvendur")) to the Mexican salsa of Rablo Beltßn Ruiz is quite exotic to the English speaking world indeed. While i would hardly call this album an essential BJÍRK album by any means, it does have a certain charm that works well as dinner music or for anyone interested in the Icelandic volcano goddess' earlier offerings. Everything is well performed and pleasant to the ears. I find this to be a notch above the pure "for collectors only" category and actually enjoy listening to this from time to time. Great dinner music that delivers the most giddy speakeasy feel of yesteryear.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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