Dís: Music from the film by Silja Hauksdóttir
1. Bankok Norðursins
2. 10 Rokkstig
5. Já, Hemmi Minn
6. Eíripídes, Og Neðtipídel
13. Hótel Borg
15. Flugeldar II
The album Dís is based on music written for the Icelandic film of the same (the first film by director Silja Hauksdottir, based on her own novel.) Like the album Englabörn (Touch 2002), which was based on music originally written for the theater, Dís elaborates and expands on themes used in the film. The intention was to create an album which stands on its own, but which has certain qualities of soundtrack music, including repeated motifs and themes presented in different versions and contexts. For the recording, Jóhann asked members of the bands Funerals, Singapore Sling, Slowblow and Trabant, to join him, as well as experimental guitarist and fellow Kitchen Motors founder Hilmar Jensson and the vocalist Ragnheidur Grondal, one of Iceland's best loved singers. This gives the album a loose and intricate feel, with the mood veering from joyous to sad, on the surface buoyant and playful, but revealing a strong melancholic undercurrent. The sound sometimes recalls Apparat Organ Quartet although there are also some echoes of fellow Icelanders múm, as well as explorations of Jóhann's fascination with Krautrock and European film music. For the most part, though Jóhann aims for a genre-defying approach and an eclecticism which never threatens the unity and coherence of the album.
Jóhann writes: "For the film and album, Dís, I wanted to write a purely electric music, removed from the string and orchestral based music I had been writing recently. I resolved to use only instruments I had in my studio and whatever trashy things my friends would bring to the sessions. I wanted a loose, toy-like feel, I was trying to create a strange sort of melancholy, almost naive bubble-gum pop, seen through a mechanical, motorik prism. Much like I believe the film captures quite well the zeitgeist of early 21st century Reykjavik, I tried to do the same with my music.