At the end of August my wife and I spent a week in Iceland for her birthday. One of those days, we agreed, would be spa day for her and her friends ... which meant a synth day for me! As they soaked in naturally volcano-heated mineral waters and got pampered, I set out to find out what's up with synths in Reykjavik.
It turns out to be a lot more than Bjork and Sigur Rós. There’s a growing community of vintage synth enthusiasts, not to mention an electronic music scene, and it has burgeoned ever more since the documentary film Electronic Reykjavik first let the world know about it in 2011. (In the next story, I'll be getting schooled in modular madness by one of its featured musicians, a very genial fellow named Frank Murder. It was actually Frank who gave me the lead that turned into this segment.)
Arnar Adalsteinsson is both an accomplished music producer and the proprietor of Lalaland Synth Repair, located at the tip of the harbor facing the city skyline. He is THE guy in Iceland if you want your beloved analog synth in top shape, and does some beautiful upgrades and modifications as well. He was kind enough to show me around the shop, which contains some true rarities as well as classics we know and love, in the video below.
In a follow-up. I'll be posting a slideshow of all these synths with links to audio or video demos. Arnar is also working on some of his own plug-ins that he can't talk about just yet, so we'll be keeping an eye on him. If you're ever in Reykjavik, say hello and tell him Synth Expert sent you!