Bjarni Gunnarsson – Safn


Recently, someone told me that it’s virtually impossible to get an ambient music album released, while on the other hand labels fall over each other in their enthousiasm to release a new noise title.
(Note we’re talking about physical releases here, not about netlabels!)

To be honest, I can’t say I’m much of a noise addict. There’s hardly any good opportunity to play it at home (without tough family protests),  and I was not particularly enjoying most ‘noise-for-noise sake’ live performances I’ve seen.

But on this recent release, Bjarni Gunnarsson (born 1980, in Iceland as you can probably guess by his name), explores both ambient and noise music at the same time – crossing the borders with a stunning result.

Noise addicts may probably not even consider this ‘real’ noise, and ambient music devotees may not consider this ‘real’ ambient, but to me it is both. (Maybe sound art would be a better description).

Gunnarsson has previously released music on different labels as one half of the Einóma duo that released a bunch of maxis and two albums on the Vertical Form label.
On Safn 2006-2009, he creates fascinating soundfields that are calm and unnerving at the same time. Though the sound is overtly electronic, the sources are organic: violins, percussion and voice (Blindni).

The album is packed in handmade organic tissue which presents a nice contrast to the music that is presented. Or maybe not so much of a contrast at all, because depending how you will listen, the sounds are also organic in a way. But in a quite unusual way.

Safn 2006 – 2009 is released by the small independent Belgian label La Madame Avec Le Chien (The Lady And The Dog), in a limited release of 333 copies.

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  1. well i just wanna thank you for this wonderful tip… i’m pretty much in ambient and drone stuff but never heard of bjarni before… now i’ve got this cd and it’s a stunner, really… thx…