[sic] Magazine

Stafrænn Hákon – Prammi

Time was when a new release from Stafrænn Hákon would have had me rapt and attentive. Such times were a decade ago when Ólafur Josephsson broke out of his native Iceland and release a series of splendid releases on the Resonant label. His more recent work has failed to pique my interest. 2007’s Gummi skidded across [sic]’s review desk, only to be met by a collective ‘Meh’. It wasn’t bad, it’s just that by Josephsson’s own high standards, it wasn’t really doing anything new. Prammi sees the Icelander back on his A game and comes highly recommended.

Any post-rock artist coming from Iceland will always draw comparison with the mighty Sigur Ros . Josephsson probably wears bizarre knitwear, and a half-formed beard, and records his music from his house at the foot of a volcano, right? Of course I’m joking but the Sigur Ros comparisons aren’t entirely invalid. In truth, the Stafrænn Hákon sound draws comparison with a number of the electronica and post-rock greats.

The guitar work on tracks like ‘Hoff’ recalls early Mogwai and Stafrænn Hákon punctuates many of his pieces with fragile vocals in a manner not unlike epic45 . There’s some drone, (‘Dufthani’) some beautiful cello (‘The Son’) and the obligatory glockenspiel pings (everywhere). For the most part, Prammi is light years ahead of the car wreck that was 2010’s Sanitas . For arguably the first time a full album manages to convey the myriad aspects of Stafrænn Hákon work, whilst remaining a cohesive whole. By turns, glacial, uplifting, soothing and fun, Prammi is the best Stafrænn Hákon full length to date and highly recommended as an entry point.

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