Tucked away in the shadow of the Berliner institution that is Berghain, Indridi’s intimate and laid-back show took place last night in the Kantine.
We were in moderate need of some smelling salts and a moment to ourselves to contemplate what had just happened after listening to his latest release ding ding a few weeks ago, so, naturally, we had high hopes for the evening’s events.
Supported by the utterly mesmerising Hekla, whose captivating manipulation of the theremin was nothing short of genius. As the majority of the crowd were essentially hypnotised throughout her performance of ghostly soundscapes, her introspective compositions almost forced us into a mass internal meditation – it’s rare to find an artist who is able to hold the audience in the palm of their hand with such a sense of ease.
Indridi himself continued to explore this surrealist ambience from the moment he stepped onto the stage. Accompanied by his band, it became immediately apparent that there’s no passive arrogance present with this group – they seem to be a very genuine cluster of musicians,who are simply there to share their creativity with those who chose to join them.
Interesting employment of a shaker rather than a more traditional use of the hi-hat created a thought-provoking and rather unusual quality, which, combined with the tentative vocals resulted in a particularly charming set. Additionally, the simple yet well-placed guitar lines made sure that no unnecessary clamour was present – Indridi’s certainly not a fan of superfluous distractions or noise for the sake of noise.
It goes without saying that the highlight of the show was a heartfelt ode to his grandmother, with the delicate vocal harmonies and gentle weaving textures complementing the instrumental lines in a relatively fluid fashion. The atmospheric-sounding delivery was intelligent and smooth, and his voice at times hinted ever so slightly at traditional Icelandic throat singing, although it was never too aggressively engaged.
It’s a marked departure from his days as a guitarist for punk-hardcore collective Muck, but still manages to retain a refined sense of messiness, for lack of a better word. None of his work is painfully over-rehearsed – these soft landscapes flow naturally and without agenda. It’s this exact unique brand of nonchalance which led to a mellow and curious performance, with the easy-going atmosphere deftly avoiding a lot of the unnecessary hostility that is so often stumbled upon at gigs in Berlin.
It would be a crime not to mention Kaufmann Frust, who have been making audiences stand to attention since their inception back in 2014. Their smooth (but by no means submissive) set was packed with rich textures and warm and jagged vocal lines – they’re definitely a band to keep our beady eyes on.
It’s refreshing to see a musician of this genre not taking themselves too seriously – he was there for a good time, and to share his music with no agenda other than to quietly celebrate the reason he’s there. Ultimately, Indridi is one of those artists who’s never afraid to change and evolve, and we’re intrigued to see what he’ll release next.