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LISTEN: Mutant Electro From Volruptus
Christian Eede , July 12th, 2017 11:51

The Icelandic producer debuts on Bjarki and Johnny Chrome Silver's bbbbbb Records, including an interview with Johnny Chrome Silver about the techno scene in Iceland

Iceland's techno scene is gathering considerable pace of late with producer Bjarki leading the fold, having become one of the core artists on Nina Kraviz' трип label roster, noted for his prolific work rate.

Kraviz has also thrown a series of label parties in an Icelandic cave in recent years, welcoming along some of the country's leading techno talent including Bjarki and Exos, as well as other artists from трип. Now a new producer looks set to further put Iceland on the map for techno, picking up support from Kraviz who has been playing some of his productions in her own sets, and now releasing his first record proper with Bjarki and childhood friend Johnny Chrome Silver's recently-founded bbbbbb Records.

Entitled Homeblast, the record is comprised of four slices of hard-hitting, pulsating club tracks, with the label describing the producer as "hailing from outer space via Reykjavik". Leading the record is 'Alien Transmissions', a slice of funky, mutant electro punctuated by extraterrestrial vocal samples. You can stream it exclusively above ahead of its release on Monday (July 17).

Speaking about the record, the pair behind bbbbbb say: "The best thing about releasing someone's music really is if he's from your hometown and is your friend. Bjargmundur, aka Volruptus, has been quietly doing his own thing for some time now and we’ve been receiving his music for more than a year and at some point it's just the right moment."

We caught up with Johnny Chrome Silver from bbbbbb below, to discuss further the increasing fertility in Iceland's techno scene, label activities and Volruptus' debut with the label.

What is the club scene like in Reykjavik, and more widely around Iceland, for techno and electro right now?

Johnny Chrome Silver: It's never been better I think. Since we started with bbbbbb a lot of our friends have awakened and shared their music with us. Most Icelandic people keep their music really private since there hasn’t really been any special Icelandic label that has been open for all kinds of dance music. Since Bjarki and his huge output for Icelandic dance music, people have really opened up and started to be more interested with what is happening within the electronic scene again.

When did you first come into contact with Volruptus, and what made you specifically sign the tracks that make up this record?

JCS: Me and Bjarki have had a mutual friend who has been sending Bjarki Volruptus' music for over two years now. The story I heard is: Bjarki didn’t really like it at first, he said it needed more cowbell. At some point Volruptus added more cowbell, than Bjarki realised it didn’t need any cowbell, then we signed him. We have become very close friends with Volruptus and it’s really important to us to spend some time with our artists before we sign them.

There is definitely not much time in this world for just releasing somebody’s music, we want to believe in our artists 100 per cent and be able to pull out everything they deserve. There is loads of crap out there and no need to let people swim through more shit. Connections between me and [bbbbbb producer] EOD are also exceptional since we both have cats and my cat food brand is called something like E.O.D. so we actually have a lot in common although he's not from Iceland.

Do you feel that the techno and electro scene in Iceland is currently benefitting from producers and DJs being close to each other, and being able to share ideas and support each other?

JCS: Like I said, after Bjarki and трип, the scene became super vibrant. We all got more connected and inspired by his output. That played a big part in why we wanted to start a label, to support and connect the Icelandic electronic music scene. The worst thing is when Icelandic artists have any success, they rarely come back to the community to support local talents, which is really important to keep the culture alive. The culture has always faded away fast, now we are picking up the shit they left us in from the early '00s. It used to be the Icelandic way that there was too much jealousy and hate. But that is going to change now. As they say there is as short a step between hate and love as there is between laughing and crying; that's why my Skype name is crybaby1234.

Do you have any other tips for producers and DJs to look out for emerging from Iceland right now?

JCS: bbbbbbe yourself and maybe add more cowbell.

Volruptus' Homeblast is out on July 17. Johnny and Bjarki will tour the US from July 20-29. You can find the dates here