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Thursaflokkurinn Ţursar album cover
4.00 | 4 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD1: Hinn íslenzki ţursaflokkur (34:24)
1. Einsetumađur einu sinni (5:28)
2. Sólnes (5:03)
3. Stóđum tvö í túni (4:03)
4. Hćttu ađ gráta hringaná (2:45)
5. Nútíminn (4:59)
6. Búnađarbálkur (4:17)
7. Vera mátt góđur (0:52)
8. Grafskript (6:42)

CD2: Ţursabit (39:45)
1. Sigtryggur vann... (3:24)
2. Brúđkaupssálmur (0:35)
3. Brúđkaupsvísur (3:00)
4. XXX (0:07)
5. Ćri-Tobbi (6:32)
6. Frá Vesturheimi (6:15)
7. Skriftagangur (5:40)
8. Bannfćring (3:47)
9. Sjö sinnum..... (6:45)
10. Tóbaksvisur (3:40)

CD3: Á hljómleikum (49:43)
1. Bjarnaborgarmars (0:41)
2. Búnađarbálkur (4:21)
3. Orđsending (10:03)
4. Brúđkaupsvísur (3:36)
5. Bannfćring (4:01)
6. Sjö sinnum (2:15)
7. Norđur viđ íshaf (Grasljóđ VIII) (11:14)
8. Sjónvarpsbláminn (10:08)
9. Jón var krćfur karl og hraustur (3:24)

CD4: Gćti eins veriđ... (38:36)
1. Pínulítill karl (3:53)
2. Gegnum holt og hćđir (3:34)
3. Nú er heima! (3:27)
4. Sérfrćđingar segja... (3:42)
5. Gibbon (5:23)
6. Fyrst var ekkert (4:59)
7. Ţögull eins og meirihluttin(3:20)
8. Vill einhver elska...? (4:25)
9. Ranimosk (5:53)

CD5: Ókomin forneskjan (70:01)
1. Ókomin forneskjan (5:05)
2. Of stórt... (3:04)
3. Fjandsamleg návist III (4:04)
4. Súpu a la carte (6:04)
5. Hverju á ađ trúa - Arab? (2:41)
6. Sérfrćđingar segja (4:04)
7. Harley Davidson (5:46)
8. Anarkí (3:53)
9. Svífur uppi á silfurhimni (5:27)
10. Lísu-blús (6:01)
11. Sveinninn er samningi bundinn (2:40)
12. Fram allir vöđvar (2:00)
13. Sálmur fyrir gullauga (Gegnum holt og hćđir) (3:46)
14. Gegnum holt og hćđir (4:12)
15. Frá Vesturheimi (7:49)
16. Ţögull eins og meirihlutinn (Í Speglinum) (3:25)

Total Time: 232:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Ásgeir Óskarsson / drums, percussion, vocals
- Tómas Tómasson / bass guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Égill Ólafsson / lead vocals, piano, keyboards, acoustic guitar, accordeon
- Rúnar Vilbergsson / bassoon, percussion (CD 1, 2, 3 & 5)
- Ţórđur Arnason / guitars, vocals
- Karl Sighvatsson / Hammond organ, vocals (CD 2,3 & 5)

Guest musician:
- Lárus Halldór Grímsson / flute, Hammond organ (CD 5, track 15)

Releases information

5CD Íslenskir Tónar IT 303, IT 304, IT 305, IT 306, IT 307 (2008 Iceland)

Mini vinyl digipack 5 CD box set released in February 2008 in a (presumably) small edition; includes all the albums of the band and unreleased recordings.

Thanks to Einsetumadur for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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THURSAFLOKKURINN Ţursar ratings distribution

(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(100%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Einsetumadur
4 stars This limited edition box contains nearly 100% of all recordings avaible from this excellent Icelandic band. It comprises the four regular albums of this band, plus the bonus disc Ókomin Forneskjan which includes the sketches of an unreleased fifth album plus several live recordings and demos.

First of all: this box is, regarding its design, phenomenal. It's got a black matt finish with the band's fake rune symbol, derived from the Germanic character thornuz (ţ) spread all over the cardboard, and the five digipacks are also put in classy black frames. The CDs are mini-vinyl replicas, all in black from both sides, and the sound quality is brilliant. I don't know if someone remastered the albums, but there's nothing left to desire from the sound. Even the more obscure live recordings on the bonus disc are perfectly listenable despite some slight overdrive clipping in the louder parts. The booklets contain all lyrics, the historical placement of the albums in the Icelandic music scene and lots of newspaper clippings and photos from the archives inbetween. All in all an exemplar of how albums should be reissued.

But still there's a slight drop of bitterness: everything is written in Icelandic. That means that, if you don't know this language, the band biography and all that stuff won't help you at all. I come from Germany and understand a few words from the context, listeners from Sweden, Denmark or the Faroe Islands might probably understand even more, but making this reissue more international by writing English liner notes could have been a wise decision. But for sure this band is most popular in their own country, and the fact that it's all Icelandic makes the box perfectly authentic.

I won't describe the music of this band in detail here, check out the separate reviews of the albums to get more information. To sum it up, the band started as a rock band which was rooted in Icelandic folk music, but also influenced by the humour of the RIO scene, the Canterbury styling of jazz fusion and symphonic prog in the vein of Focus, Gentle Giant and Genesis. On the debut album Hinn islenski ţursaflokkur (11/15P.), the folk clearly outweighed the jazz: many fairly original interpretations of traditional folk songs mixed up with high-quality progressive rock, especially the pastoral Sólnes with fine guitar-piano-interplay. On Ţursabit (13.5/15P.) the band rather deconstructed Icelandic folk songs, stuffed them with jazz and fairly freaked-out art pop, and rebuilt them afterwards. A particular highlight is the spacy Ćri-Tobbi which switches between Matching Mole-like jazz rock, Funkadelic grooves and 20th-century classical music. The 1980 live album Á hljomleikum (10.25/15P.) saw the band explore a more sincere (and less humorous) jazz within the scope of longer tracks. A fine album, but a bit separated into two parts: renditions of shorter songs from the studio albums and the three previously unreleased longtracks. I think there are big parts of the concert missing here, owing to the deceptively short Sjö sinnum.... Gćti eins veriđ (11.5/15P.) brought a change, presenting the band with an unexpected new wave sound. It's a widely disliked album, but to me it's an example of high-quality new wave: much more rooted in jazz harmony and melody than the Talking Heads and Genesis, with not a single bland Phil-Collins-ish ballad, but rather with really tough, but rewarding songs of experimental pop. Drummer Asgeir Oskarsson, employing both his drum kit and the Roland drum machine, is in the foreground and rips all boredom up with his extremely inventive playing. The five songs from the intended fifth album, Ókomin forneskjan, are distinctly weaker, mostly when they sound like music from a musical. Still there are many atmospheric proto post-rock moments to be heard which are worthwile listening. The three eccentric demos from the Grettir musical are better than expected, but the stunners on this CD are the live recordings from 1978, 1979 and 1991. The live recordings from 1981 are less mature than the Gćti eins veriđ stuff, but have a nice underlying punk attitude. The total rating of the bonus disc is around 10/15P.

The music, averaged from the separate ratings, therefore is approximately 4 stars worth. Ţursaflokkurinn are one of the rare examples of a band which recorded awesome albums, but never really crashed into dreary music - it's a discography on a consistently high niveau. The design and reissue quality definitely deserves full 5 stars. Still, I am giving this box set just a very good 4 star rating. It includes doubtlessly essential albums, but not every album in here is a fully-fledged masterpiece. But don't mind the rating: if you're into awesome and independent music on the borders between jazz, folk, psychedelia and symphonic prog, and if you're willing to get into music sung completely in the Icelandic language, you should be going to love this box. And of course it makes a pretty good impression in a progressive rock music collection, too! Get it either for a fair price of $75 from Gregg Walker's syn-phonic shop or, if you come from Europe, from the German tradesman Charly Heidenreich. I don't think many people have already bought this box, but still it's limited and perhaps sold-out in the next years, so get it quick.

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