The album Vogor Vol. I was born during the winter months of 2019 in Iceland when few harp melody ideas were being thrown back and forth between the members of the band, bassist and guitar baritonist Árni Þór Árnason, harpist Lárus Sigurðsson and guitarist Ólafur Josephsson. Incidentally, they are also members of the Icelandic band Stafrænn Hákon which has release a number of albums through out the years.
These aforementioned wintery harp-melodies gradually took shape in the hands of Vogor and after only few weeks of intense musical sculpturing, 11 instrumental songs were finalized, mixed and mastered, and a new album was born. Three other musicians were summoned to give this album their invaluable musical creativity and sonic texture; Jóhannes Ólafsson played drums, Þröstur Sigurðsson played the trombone and Fjalar Sigurðarson played tuba.
The music can perhaps best be described as a fusion between neo classical music and joyous lo-fi rock where delicate harp melodies are embraced by uninhibited sonic power, together forming inventive soundscapes and textures for the 21st century human mind and heart alike. It could be argued that this album is somewhat under he influence of composers such as Claude Debussy, Sonic Youth and Cocteau Twins to name but a few artists but the album stands firmly on its own musical ground though, firmly rooted in its original heart and soul.
Vogor Vol. I was recorded, mixed and mastered in Vogor Studios in Reykjavík and self-released via Vogor Records, a label dedicated to nurturing creative, independent musicians and releasing their works in a self sustainable way with concepts like fair-trade in mind.
Vogor is an extremely interesting music project created by three members (out of five) of the Icelandic band Stafrænn Hákon.
We have written many times about the band Stafrænn Hákon , which has as many as 11 albums, and recently on the occasion of the premiere of their album " Aftur " (2019; review HERE ).
These three musicians Stafrænn Hákon are:
Árni Þór Árnason : bass and baritone guitar
Lárus Sigurðsson : harps, guitar, programming
Ólafur Örn Josephsson : guitars, percussion instruments
At this point, it should be added that these musicians also run a recording studio and a music label called Vogor Records , in which, as everyone says, the musicians deal with themselves. Its founders emphasize that their idea is to support and care for creative and independent artists and to publish their works in a self-sufficient manner, with a view in particular to a fair distribution of profits.
As a side note, I mention that " Vogor " is also the title of one of the songs from the album Stafrænn Hákon , exactly from the album " Ventill / Poki " (2004).
But let's get back to the merits of the case. Well, at the beginning of this year on the social profile of Vogor Records there was information that soon under her wings will be the release of Vogor entitled " Vol. I ", which will be followed later this year. The innovation of this project is, among others, the fact that each of these three musicians will be joined by different artists each time, who will bring their element, ideas, soul and heart. All recordings and production will of course be invariably prepared in a small group, without interference from professional studio engineers from the outside.
The first effects of this project can already be seen, because on January 17, 2020 the first Vogor album " Vol. I " was released . In addition to the three musicians, Stafrænn Hákon took part in the creation of this album :
Jóhannes Ólafsson : drums
Þröstur Sigurðsson : trombone
Fjalar Sigurðarson : tuba
The material for the album was created for several intense weeks, in the winter of 2019. All musicians were involved in the preparation of the composition and their arrangement, as well as their recording and production. The mixing and mastering of the album was done by Ólafur Örn Josephsson . Árni Þór Árnason is responsible for the cover design .
The publishing house " Vol. I " has 40 minutes of instrumental music divided into eleven compositions. The Vogor lineup alone makes a slight impression, but I assure you that it goes hand in hand with extraordinary and high-level music, both in terms of performance and the production of the album itself. The authors of Vogor describe their work as "a combination of neoclassical music with soothing lofi rock , where the delicate melodies of the harp are bound by unrestrained sonic power, creating together innovative soundscapes and textures, suitable for the human mind and heart in the 21st century ."
I will add that Vogor music can be attributed to the post rock trend boldly reaching for the influence of neoclassical music and other pleasant to the ear details. In addition to the guitar and percussion parts, crystal harp sounds and the accompaniment of wind and keyboard instruments lead here. They help in building the reflective mood of this music and its melancholic envelope. The whole gives the impression of a thoughtful and mature work, but not without a note of spontaneity and emotional commitment. The sounds seem to come out from the hands of the musicians very freely, which makes them authentic. Let's not forget that we are dealing with artists who devote themselves with all their heart to their musical passion. Anyway, it is perfectly audible that men feel great in a given style.
The sound of the album " Vol. I " is very spacious, epic and ambient. This music is charming and seductive. Full of feelings and sensitivity, as well as a kind of longing and charming melodies. Created especially for dreamers who like to immerse themselves in nostalgia and pleasant memories. Vogor's compositions are marked by an unusual atmosphere full of mystery and understatements. You can hear that this music was created in the North. It's hard not to get carried away by such beautifully played sounds. And this is just the beginning of this fantastic musical adventure in which Icelandic musicians intend to take us.
" Vol. I " is a mesmerizing work that undoubtedly convinces with the sense of the Vogor project . The album will certainly satisfy every fan of post rock. It's very nice to hear. I recommend with a clean heart.