Icelandic experimental group Sigur Ros created something quite special in their second album. Using an amalgamation of analogue and digital techniques and instruments, Agaetis Byrjun kneads at the boundaries of what music can accomplish. Not entirely smashing them, but gently pushing them with pulsating waves of echoes and reverberation. Despite the enormous scope of the album, it’s surprisingly simple in its production, with rarely any more than 3 or 4 layers of sound happening at any one time. Instead its size comes from the treatment of the individual tracks of howling guitars and simple synth melodies, which create an atmosphere which is simultaneously energizing and tranquilizing. The whole record sounds like a journey through space, and it’s hard not to close your eyes and let your imagination drift while listening to it. Agaetis Byrjun is as enchanting as it is simple, proving that less is more with its careful balance of calculated subtlety and barbaric noise.
Order on iTunes: