Our first taste of Reykjavik was the peach-toned music video for “Abyss,” which is directed by Lucas Ruyssen and features the heartfelt dancing of Sofia Moreira. At first, there is only piano, a quiet kneeling, a drawing in of cloth; but then at the two minute mark, an explosion of synth and drum. The song and dance are about to burst! But no, wait … a soft retraction, leading to the dancer’s most beautiful segment. It will be another minute before she twists into a series of unabashed twirls and a single high leap.
Only after reading more about Glass Museum did we realize there are only two of them, producing a sound twice their size; and that Antoine Flipo (synths) and Martin Grégoire (drums) hail from Brussels, the title’s Reykjavik connection inspired by their participation in Iceland Airwaves. Holding true throughout the album is an expansion of timbres from humble origins, and a natural blend of jazz, electronics and modern composition. The title track is even happier than “Abyss,” swiftly turning from solo keys to head-nodding percussion, like summer appearing before spring. Again the music retreats midway, cheerfully coy. Please make another video for this one!
While some of the tracks are softer and a bit jazzier (“IOTA” being the jazziest), the bulk of the album is upbeat. Even some of the quieter tracks turn halfway into stormers, “Clothing” being a prime example with a second half, Moroder-esque vibe. The two-part “Nimbus” lays claim to being the centerpiece and seems to be its most serious, although the title inspires more creative thought than rumination. The electronics take center stage in “part II,” making it the obvious choice for a crossover single.
Lively from start to finish, Reykjavik provides a welcome infusion of positivity, enough to lift one’s spirits even on a cloudy day. If the day is already sunny, the sky’s the limit! (Richard Allen)