Stafrænn Hákon

Eignast Jeppa: 20th Anniversary edition

June 1, 2021

Eignast Jeppa: 20th Anniversary edition
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Stafrænn Hákon on this record:

All instruments by Ólafur Josephsson 1999-2001 (1-10) & 2020 (11-24)
Analog to Digital transfer of 4-track by Ólafur Josephsson 2020
Mixed & Mastered by Ólafur Josephsson December 2020

It´s with great pleasure to offer this record as a triple vinyl. Featuring the original album that was recorded on a 4-track cassette recorder in early 2001 along with leftover material from those sessions. Also included is the whole album re-recorded in 2020 along with 6 new songs that are reworks of older ideas that never saw the light of day.

“Eignast jeppa” was solely recorded and produced by Ólafur Josephsson, the founding member and brainchild of Stafrænn Hákon. The album is a clear example of how creative he turned out to by in the start of his musical career. The song ideas on the album are therefore more like experiments that were recorded instantly when written, leaving the recordings sounding were fragile but fresh at the same time.

The minimalist approach to his music it came as a breath of fresh air when the album appeared on the shelves in Reykjavík record shops at the time. The word quickly got around amongst the icelandic underground music scene and the misleading name of “Stafrænn Hákon” (translates “Digital Hákon”) indicated that an electronic artist had been born but on the contrary, the exact opposite was the case here. He was working in the analog domain with no digitized sounds whatsoever.

The album was considered a minor success and was certainly classified under the "Post-Rock" category that was blooming in Iceland at that time. 2 years later in 2003 it was picked up by the American label Secret Eye. When that happened, Stafrænn Hákon had made some additional recordings to the record in order to make it sound more full in his opinion. Looking back on that was certainly a regrettable decision and it´s clear that the album was to be heard from its original state with no additional refinement.

When it came to transferring old tapes to the digital domain some material came to light. Some was good enough to include in this 20 year anniversary edition, other was not. Actually some ideas were quite good that weren't quite audible to include. Therefore it was a no-brainer to finally finish those ideas and include them on this release. 6 new songs were therefore finished and recorded in 2020. Whilst reworking and recording those ideas the idea of re-recording the whole album came to mind. It made perfect sense since the limitations of the 4-track recorder was an obstacle at the time. The 7 songs that feature on the album were re-recorded in 2020 and are presented here trying to capture the same mindset and soundscapes that was originally intended. Trying to put yourself into that mindset was a tricky task to perform since 20 years have gone by and 10 albums been released since then. However I believe the re-recorded versions shine nicely and they feel like nostalgic trip back to those days.

The results are 13 new recordings that coincide this release

Stafrænn Hákon believes the result of this release will truly display the raw soothing interwoven soundscapes he intended to make with his debut album.