Bgudna: "Reunited at Last"


By George Bass | 3 June 2010

Bgudna means Björgvin Gudnason, who, if you can’t already tell, is from Iceland. He’s also spiritually lost at sea, projecting the gloom of being adrift in a dinghy into Safe Harbor, his debut EP. You’d think it would be easy to find a harbor in Iceland and easier still to not get lost in it: all you need to do is follow the Denmark Straight and aim for the island that looks like 2012. Provided you can live off a diet of phytoplankton and don’t feel the cold too much (or at all), you should make land in under a week. Alternately—and this is the worst case scenario—you don’t make land, float round in circles, and hear bleak things tolling in the fog. This is the Bgudna method of navigation, and one which young Captain Gudnason is remarkably adept at for someone who isn’t an Arctic fisherman.

Concluding his first release with the exact icy trickles that aren’t cooling his country’s volcanoes, “Reunited at Last” is Gudnason’s happy ending, and one whose survival-horror touches lose out to comparative exultation. Opening with the same kind of goblin vibe used by one-off Warp signing Brothomstates, a half-battery keyboard bobs up in the dark, its beat a quarter Phil Collins. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Grey pads undulate as something rolls over in the mist; something dormant but threatening to wake up as soon as that metronome breaks step. Maybe Bgudna’s referring to Iceland’s big volcano Katla, the one residents implored not to build a road round as its thousand-year boom date starts looming. And when this one explodes, it won’t just be ash: we’re talking glacier bursts, coastal bulge, 2012 x 10. If the third world war is fought with nuclear weapons, the fourth will be fought with bow and arrow. If the April puffing of Eyjafjallajökull got a Sigur Rós soundtrack, 20120 belongs to Bgudna. Not Beverly Hills. Oh no.