Supersonic sounds from Iceland

Interview by Angela Donskaia

dj. flugvél og geimskip’s voice sounds like as if the decibels were drenched in cotton candy syrup. We caught her in the interzone and chatted about robot animals, sparkling batteries, her music, and infinity. Deciphering the surreal magic that is inherent to her sound.

Rumour has it that everyone in Iceland knows each other, is that true?

So in Iceland everyone knows everyone. And if you don’t, then you at least know someone knowing that person.

Is it true that you can feel very lonely there? Or at least, I can imagine in the dark winter. How do you cope with that?

I actually prefer darkness. I feel much more lonely in the light because everything is so bright. Being in the darkness is like a forest. And I kinda appreciate that feeling.

We hear you also paint?

Yes, and I make sculptures. I like to make robot animals or robots and animals to have on stage, with me. Or meteors even. Recently I made a video game with my friend. I actually made it for the first song on my new album, Our Atlantis.

I’m really getting into the digital art world and I like it a lot; there are no limits in that world. Like with a keyboard. If infinity exists,  you can make an infinite number of songs with only one keyboard. It’s the same with digital space.

A still from dj. flugvel’s video game.

How do you spend time in an airplane?

I think it’s the ideal time to listen to full albums. I like looking at the clouds, but  I’m always on the lookout for UFO’s. I think I saw one with my friends in the countryside in Iceland. I’m not sure what it was, but we were really scared.

Do you think we should fly less, to save the environment?

That’s a hard question. I think about this a lot. I like to be in an airplane, but I also like the fact that you don’t necessarily need to travel to have fun. Like, you can watch a movie about a country, or listen to music to feel like as if you were there. Also, it would be a shame if we wouldn’t fly and meet people from different places. By flying we destroy the planet, but meanwhile we are connecting with it. If that makes sense.

Which planet would you prefer living on, if not this one?

Hmm, then I would have to be another creature too. I do have one favourite planet, though. It’s a nebula, ngc6826. I actually think we are already living on multiple planets at the same time. Like as if we have multiple lives, living in multiple dimensions.

Like a cat with 9 lives?
Exactly! We might have multiple lives, just like we have ideologies, simultaneously.

Is that what your new record is about? And the videogame?

Yes, it’s our atlantis. It’s our choice to see how we interact with perception. How we see the world and what we believe in. That’s what the whole album is about. Some people say Atlantis never existed and it’s a myth. I might not believe it, but I still include it in my worldview. In fact it’s our universe. We can all choose how we see the universe and how we interact with it.

Do you  believe in magic?

I have this thing where I always look at the light posts on my way home in the evening. And them I turn my head a bit to see if they are dancing. That’s a bit magical. I once lost the magic for a few days, I felt like I needed to be more rational. But my best friend then told me: “This is your reality. If someone doesn’t believe in the same things, it doesn’t mean your reality isn’t valid.” And that’s so true. It actually inspired me to make this album; Our Atlantis.

So music and the digital world equal infinity?

In the digital space, like in video games, I can make endless worlds. I can make sculptures high as the sky, till infinity. That would be impossible in the real world. I remember when I went to art school in the Netherlands, many people were painting. But when they painted, they created exactly what they saw outside. I didn’t get why someone would paint what is already there. Why not create something which isn’t possible in the real world, like an animal with three heads?

How do you feel when you are performing? Do you feel like yourself or is it a means of escape?

Sometimes you can feel the electricity in the air. It only happens through interaction with all the people in the room. When I come in and I feel it, I know it’s there, like a sparkling battery. Then I go on stage and I like to pretend I’m trying to do magic. I am like a fisherman launching a net and getting everyone in to go somewhere together. Sometimes you get half of the fish, sometimes you get them all. Then we can travel together on the music.

dj. flugvél og geimskip plays 8 February at s105 (de School), Amsterdam. Free for Subbacultcha members. Not a member yet? Join here.