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Press Reviews for Draumalandið

Icelandic producer Valgeir Sigurðsson has worked with a host of high-profile artists: Björk, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Nico Muhly, Múm, and many more. But despite nearly a decade of noteworthy production work, it wasn’t until 2007 that he released his first official solo album, Ekvílibríum, a dreamy electro-acoustic work.

Now Sigurðsson has released the soundtrack to Draumalandið (Dreamland), a documentary about the exploitation of Iceland’s natural resources. The score, a gentle and mini-orchestral work, is a much more elaborate affair — but one that manages, despite its layers, to feel as sparse as much of the Icelandic landscape.

Swelling and crackling electro-folk turns into uneasy chamber pieces. Often, the score is circular and dramatic, as in the title track, based on a simple up-scaling piano progression that is complemented by a glockenspiel or xylophone. The tempo of “Dreamland” picks up and slows at key spots, capturing an important dynamic.

Muhly and countrymen Sam Amidon, Ben Frost, Daníel Bjarnason, and a host of others lend their talents to Dreamland, a score that proves Sigurðsson capable of much more than augmenting the work of others.

Alarm Magazine (February 23rd 2010)

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