Benni Hemm Hemm


Benni Hemm Hemm

[10/06] The one who doesn't feel at home in Reykjavik but in music imagines the Icelandic capital roughly like that: a vibrating membrane that invites all cool sounds, lets them diffuse in bars, apartments and rehearsal studios where they surge and grow. And from where they will be sent back to the world as still cooler sounds then. The fact that pop music plays an important role in Iceland can be noticed in one of the excellent record stores in Reykjavik. There is, for instance, a calendar with monthly pictures of Icelandic bass players. The fact that pop music plays an important role in Iceland experienced Benni Hemm Hemm in 2005 as well. His self-titled album - released on Smákökurnar and in summer 2006 on Sound of a handshake, the small, curious sister of Morr Music for the rest of the world - was elected as the Icelandic album of the year. And, on top of that, Benni Hemm Hemm himself as the best newcomer. Benedikt H. Hermannsson writes his songs by means of a soulfulness that feeds itself of various pots. Of a growing up in music, of course. Benni ran with Elvis Presley and Mick Jagger across the rainbow, he rocked the room of his youth together with Jimmy Page and, just a little later, cried with Morrissey. He listened to Steve Albini distributing microphones across the room and produced great albums. Sometime then, Stereolab's stoic organs appeared, this complex surging monotony. A lot of that can be traced in Benni Hemm Hemm's reduced opulence as well as in the band comprising a multitude of instruments and a few, carefully chosen sounds. And Benni Hemm Hemm is rooted within Reykjavik's go-getting music scene. That is where he finds his band. Sometimes ten, sometimes fourteen musicians, among them artists who otherwise are on stage with Sigur Rós. That is where his previous bands originated, too. With Rúnk, for instance, Benedikt H. Hermannsson released two records. Or the eccentric noise-duo Post-Sköll. In 2003 Summer Plate was released, the first project under the name of Benni Hemm Hemm, recorded in a small apartment and sold in an unique edition of 30 copies n two record-stores in Reykjavik. The songs for Benni Hemm Hemm's overextravagant debut-album were written during a stay of several months in Italy. A foamy wind section, departure and pause, songs with a heart of gold. That has also remained that way on the current album Kajak, released on Morr Music. Live on stage Benni Hemm Hemm and his energetic orchestra are splendid, anyway. www.bennihemmhemm.com www.morrmusic.com www.mysapec.com/bennihemmhemm

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