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Sigur Ros – Von

27 05 2012

Listened: Monday March 12

When Sigur Ros’ magnum opus Ágætis byrjun came out while I was in college, it was one of the most indie-darling records that maybe has ever existed. And the praise was rightfully deserved.

At the time, one could only get Ágætis byrjun, not Von or Von brigði, even in record stores like Amoeba in Berkeley, where one could find pretty much anything of consequence. I knew the earlier records existed though (thanks Internet!), and I wanted to own them because it was so hard to own them – which is what one did in those days if you were truly dedicated to your love of music. I remember ordering both the earlier albums from a guy in Colorado on a semi-dodgy web site and at a premium (which I rarely did, ever), to really check that music-fan box. I hadn’t processed before reading Von’s Wikipedia page just now that I have an Icelandic CD, not the UK re-release (which was 2004, way after I acquired my copy, in 1999 or 2000). That’s kinda neat.

Von is to say the least a very bizarre album. It’s quite ambient and experimental in tone and many of the songs aren’t much like later Sigur Ros (though the seeds of the sound are definitely here). I didn’t listen to it much when I originally bought it (unlike Von brigði); I’ve listened to it during the project more than I ever did before. The standout track for me is Myrkur aka Darkness (track 5). After quite a few tracks of of noodling and sampling, this track bursts forth immediately with the most wonderful non-English-language Brittpoppy sound. It would have fit right into the landscape in the mid-90s when it was recorded and released. The name of the track is a total misnomer.

I’ve really come to appreciate Von. It’s quite a bit more understated than later works, though also less tight. For fans of later Sigur Ros and generally ambitious listeners, I highly recommend it.

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30 05 2012
Sigur Ros – Von Brigði (Recycle Bin) « Emily's Albums A to Z

[…] is quite drum ‘n’ bassy, which makes sense since it came out in the late 90s. Like Von, I had to order this album specially back in the early days of Sigur Ros’ US popularity. It […]

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