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Sugarcubes selects Samaris

The hushed Icelandic trio puts together an eclectic mix to tell the chilling tales of 1993

Samaris has put together an exclusive mega mix of 1993 tracks that helped to shape their sound. Sugarcubes icon Einar Orn tells us why Samaris is one to watch…

Sugarcubes legend Einar Orn: “Being quiet can be difficult in today’s noise. What do you do to cut through? Samaris embrace the noise with subtle melodies laced with poetry and intricately woven songs. Stuck on an ‘island’ in the middle of the ocean, you hear the silence. They cut through. Shutthefukkup!

"Jurassic Park, the separation of Czechoslovakia, the Rodney King incident, Michael Jordan retires (but thankfully returned): 1993, what a year. Maybe we weren't there to witness all those, and other remarkable events that happened that year, but they sure have influenced our lives and others. And although the songs in this mix were released at the time when the only expression we could make was to cry and smile, they have somehow managed to stick with us our whole lifespan. And therefore, we celebrate them in this little mix of ours, which we hope you (and we) can still enjoy twenty years from now" – Samaris


Aphex Twin - Weathered Stone

Tricky - Suffocated Love

Polygon Window - Bike Pump Meets Bucket

Jamiroquai - Didgin Out

Tha Alkaholiks - Soda Pop

Req - Soul Plot

Björk - Violently Happy (MAW 12'' remix)

m500 & 3mb - the cosmic courier

Quadrant - Infinition (Carl Craig Mix)

3mb feat. Juan Atkins - Jazz Is The teacher (Atkins edit) DJ Shadows and the Groove Robbers - In/Flux Wu-tang Clan - C.R.E.A.M.


Icelandic trio Samaris don’t make background electronica. “We want people to experience something they haven’t experienced before,” says Aslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir, the group’s clarinet player. “We want people to really be a part of the atmosphere we’re creating.” Samaris formed in January 2011 when Magnúsdóttir and Jófrour Akadóttir, her pal from clarinet class, realised they “wanted to do something different, something electronic.” Because the girls “knew nothing about computers,” Magnúsdóttir contacted someone who did, childhood friend þórour Kári Steinþórsson. “We met in the middle and everything just clicked.”

Akadóttir became the group’s singer, backed by Steinþórsson’s “weird sounds” and Magnúsdóttir’s clarinet tones. “Our music is a mixture of trip hop and dreamy electronica. It can be dance music, but you can also just chill and go with it.” It’s less contradictory than it sounds: the group’s self-titled album on One Little Indian, a compilation of two Icelandic EPs plus four new remixes, is both calming and stimulating, like a really great massage. “Our music can be melancholic though,” Magnúsdóttir continues. “This comes from our lyrics. We take 19th-century Icelandic poems and fit them to the tracks like a puzzle. We’re connecting the generations. Lots of old Icelandic people recognise these lyrics from their school lessons. Now, in our music, they’re hearing them in a totally different way.”

We take 19th-century Icelandic poems and fit them to the tracks like a puzzle. We’re connecting the generations

Samaris cite Björk’s Debut from 1993, the year when both Magnúsdóttir and Steinþórsson were born, as an early inspiration. “It really exposed the world to the music and nature of Iceland,” Magnúsdóttir enthuses. “I’ve listened to Björk since I don’t know when.” Like the rest of her generation though, Magnúsdóttir’s tastes are gloriously unfettered by genre. “The first album I bought was by Destiny’s Child, and I played it continuously. Those songs 
will never die!”

Samaris also draw energy from the “healthy competition” of Reykjavik’s electro scene. Why is it such a geyser of creativity? “Unlike other countries, we don’t have that national habit of music, those old traditions, so we’re always looking for something new. We always try to think forward.”