Before the Björk-fronted Sugarcubes burst onto the international alternative-rock scene in the late '80s, the world knew little about Icelandic music or culture.
Two decades later, the island continues to produce critically acclaimed, unusual, and original indie and electronic bands. And its musical richness has attracted U.S. artists like indie-rock band Mar (originally from Charlotte) and San Diego's the Album Leaf. Both have recorded in Iceland.
In his 2005 documentary “Screaming Masterpiece: 1000 Years of Icelandic Popular Music,” Ari Alexander Ergis Magnusson examines Iceland's recent musical explosion, its artists' perspective, and how the country's environment, history, pagan religions and isolation have influenced its art.
The Light Factory will present the film Tuesday at the Visulite Theatre (the trailer can be viewed at www.screamingmasterpiece.com/index/trailers/minnitrailerinn).
“Screaming Masterpiece” consists of interviews and footage of performances by Björk, Sigur Rós, Mum, Sugarcubes, Slowblow, Bang Gang, Minus and others that we've yet to hear of in the States.
Having seen Sigur Rós and Björk at U.S. festivals over the past two years, I'm curious about what else the Icelandic scene has to offer.