Steintryggur
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Steintryggur

Reykjavík, Capital Region, Iceland | INDIE

Reykjavík, Capital Region, Iceland | INDIE
Band World EDM

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When two drummers pool their resources and decide to release a cd one does not know quite what to expect. What kind of music do two drummers make.?

Dialog is perhaps not your best answer to that question because Steingrimur Gudmundsson and Sigtryggur Baldursson have never been your "usual drummers".

Not only are they two of the best drummers and percussionists this nation has produced but have never been content with sitting behind a drum set. Steingrimur has on the one hand mastered a flora of the more exotic percussion instruments like the Indian tabla drums which are the leading instruments on this cd.

And although Sigtryggur has been more into the rock vein in his drumming with bands like the Sugarcubes, KUKL and Theyr, he has a very diverse field of experience, having been the singer in the The Millionaires with Steingrimur, made strange noises with Einar and Hilmar in Grindverk, electronic sounds with Johann Johannson in dip and played with a multitude of interesting foreign musicians, often those that have been flirting with the world music genre.

And that is precisely the word that comes to mind when describing this wonderful concoction they have cooked up under the name of Steintryggur. World music. World music in relation to masterpieces like Eno´s and Byrnes "My Life In the Bush Of Ghosts” or Albarns and friends "Mali Music”, even though said pieces are not as varied as Steintryggur´s Dialog.

It affects one like being on an adventurous 45 minute rhythmic express train around the world propelled by the grooves of the Steintryggur duo, primarily drums and tabla. It would be too arduous a task to recount all the stops or describe all the multiethnic influences apparent in this divinely diverse and exotic cd. There are many things in the mix: Hip hop , electronica, pop, rock, punk, all kinds of possible and impossible forms of jazz and world music's from eastern Europe, Africa, Greenland and the far East. It all comes together in the bubbling hot grooves of the conductors Steingrimur and Sigtryggur who shovel their bottomless coal pit of ideas into the furnace, propelling the train along with great speed but miraculously keeping it on track. Even though the conductors themselves produce a stellar performance, both as writers and players, it is the colorful passenger list that makes the trip so much more enjoyable. Eirikur Orri Olafsson comes in strong with his trumpet in 3 tunes, he improvises like a wild man (or Einar Orn) in the tabla punk tune "I don’t get it”

And blows a soft and swinging "Swung”, one of the stand out tunes on the CD. That is also due to the brilliant saxophone honk of Oskar Gudjonsson. David Thor Jonsson jumps on board for a ride with the conductors and Oskar in the hybrid is the marimba infused hip hop of "Seven Day that mixes so naturally with the emotionally charged sing-rap of the polish Natasha Kurek. The best one is the Oud (Iranian 12 sting lute) playing of Soren Venema in the beautiful "psalm” which is built upon the psalm by Thorkell Sigurbjornsson but the self same Venema also produces a great mandolin that does battle with the bagpipe on "Reel Faktor”.The Indian influences of the beat heavy "3rd avenue” also have a way of creeping up on you.

It's hard to tell where to stop when you start recounting the wonders that are encountered while traveling on Steintryggur´s tabla express. It is simply the most thrilling tour of the world you can undertake in lieu of a passport.

The cover is very cool and in good taste but it is a downside that some of the information regarding players on the cd is misleading and out of character with this otherwise grandiose work of art.
- MBL


Discography

Dialog 2003
Trappa 2008

Photos

Bio

The Steintryggur group consists of two percussion players from Iceland and a computer.
Their first cd Dialog was realesed in Europe Mars 2005.
Sigtryggur Baldursson is an Icelandic drummer and producer that has in the past been a founding member of the Sugarcubes and worked extensively with people like Bjork, Howie B, Emiliana Torrini,Les Negresses Vertes and others
Steini Gudmundsson is a tabla player from Iceland has been playing drums and percussion since early age. Moved to California early eighties to Study Tabla with his master Swapan Chauduri.
He has worked with many different artists and bands such as Suld, Fria Teatern, Bardukha, The Incredible String Band,John Tichai and many others.

Their live act is rather unusual and consists of two drummers and a computer.