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Apparat Organ Quartet

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Hailing from Reykjavík, Iceland ‘’‘Apparat Organ Quartet’‘’ is a band founded in 1999 by Jóhann Jóhannsson, Hörður Bragason, Músikvatur and Úlfur Eldjárn. Despite their name however, they are a five piece band consisting of four keyboard players and a drummer.

Formed on the initiative of Jóhann Jóhannsson in September of 1999, the band was initially motivated by a desire to play early minimalist works in concert, but instead they started to compose their own music which slowly evolved from experimental improvisations to their current sound.

The “quartet” sometimes describe their music as “Machine Rock and Roll”, and indeed the band’s sound veers between pulsing floor-fillers and headbanging anthems, served with a mixture of Kraftwerk-inspired electronics, Daft Punk-like robot voices and hard rock beats. Every note in Apparat Organ Quartet is hand-played, with not a sequencer or computer in sight. In concert and on record, the band plays keyboards from their extensive collection of jurassic analog machinery, including Russian synths and customized home organs, ARPs, Farfisas, malfunctioning Hammonds, vocoders and various circuit-bent Casios and Portasounds.

Apparat Organ Quartet’s released their self-titled debut album in 2002 after 3 years in the making. The Quartet’s members say it took so long because they had to discover by themselves how to record an organ quartet. “We couldn’t just go to the record-store and ask for an organ quartet album. We had to invent the genre.” The album seems to have many layers. The oldest takes date back to 1999 while some of the songs underwent major changes during the last few days of mixing.

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