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Kurr

Amiina, AmiinaAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 19, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ever Records
  • ASIN: B000PHX11S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,722 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Amiina not only sound like Arvo Pärt in a music box, they actually play a music box. It's among the thrift-store instruments the Icelandic quartet employs, which include wine glasses, bowed saws, antique synthesizers, and--yes, even the violins, viola, and cello that they originally started with. We've been hearing Amiina for a few years now, adding strings and additional quirkiness to the last few albums by fellow Icelanders Sigur Rós. While Sigur Rós work in epic electric dimensions, Amiina work in the delicate spaces of fragile sounds and folk refrains. On Kurr, their first full-length album, they manage to be quaint and exotic, like a modern vision set in a dusty portrait from the past. Amiina's mixture of classicism and humor owes a debt to the Penguin Café Orchestra. But while the late Simon Jeffe's outfit had the air of erudite wit and debonair grace, Amiina are cuter, musically and visually. Like kids in the attic, they exude a more innocent, yet exploratory charm. Whether plucking pastoral electric guitar lines and singing a schoolyard chant on "Rugla," bowing saws and tapping glockenspiels on "Seoul," or actually playing their classical strings, Amiina enchant like a peek inside an elven gathering under the roots of Yggdrasil. --John Diliberto

Product Description

Most music lovers first heard of Amiina due to their association with another Icelandic band called Sigur Ros. The girls started working with Sigur Ros in the mid 90's, resulting in their first shows with the band in 1999. The rest, of course, is history, as Amiina became the string players for all of Sigur Ros' subsequent tours and records.

Like the sound of cooing, aspects of Amiina's music flicker quietly and float softly, content and beautiful. Kurr is full of dazzling moments of that caliber, a wholly original work that is delicate, intricate and dream-like. Their music is genuinely so special, ineffably charming and infused with a sense of cosmic magic. It's certainly wielded that power on us.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars enigmatic July 15, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Amiina (formerly amína) is a quartet from Iceland comprised of:
María Huld Markan - violin
Hildur Ársælsdóttir - violin
Edda Rún Ólafsdóttir - viola
Sólrún Sumarliðadóttir - cello
They are best known for their work as Sigur Rós' string quartet on the album known as ( ), as well as Takk... and re-arranged the string work on Ágætis Byrjun so that Sigur Rós could tour it.
Kurr is an eclectic work of great beauty where the simplest sounds become a real basis for making music. The melodies are incredibly simple, both elcetronic ad percussive but they make up a distinct sound somewhat like the music of Rae Howell's Australian group Sunwrae.The overall effect is hypnotic as well as being part of a new minimalism coming out of Northern Europe and Iceland.This is their second release but the first in this minimalist style. Well recommended
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars if i could give it 6 stars, i would September 4, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Take everything you love about Tom Waits' junykard orchestra and combine it with the elegance and beauty of Icelandic folk music. This is Amiina, the female quartet who will make you wonder why more musicians don't learn to play the saw. Their debut album, Kurr, (the Icelandic word for a bird's coo), is a 12-song lullaby on acid. It employs twenty instruments, each woman taking a turn at playing each instrument to achieve a multitude of unique sounds. Sparely used vocals add to the ethereal quality, and by the end you'll want both a mug of warm milk and an unfiltered cigarette.

Unlike most industrial music, their sound is rooted in the organic element of folk instrumentals, which lends a tender quality. The four bandmembers first gained recognition as the string backup for fellow Icelandic band, Sigur Rós. But these talented ladies, who first met at the Reykjavik College of Music as classically trained students, shine brightest when they have the spotlight to themselves. Their delicate attention to the subtleties of each instrument, and their perfect pitch and timing, betray their classical background. Kurr quickly rises above such limitations, to explore an atmospheric sound that conjures images of damp Icelandic winters, volcanic mountain ranges and rocky seaside cliffs.

Iceland is a magical land, at least that's what Bjork told me. Now, thanks to Amiina, I know it's true.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to give this a listen! September 2, 2007
By EMO
Format:Audio CD
I first saw Amiina when they opened for Sigur Ros a while back. I was completely mesmerized by them as they played their "instruments" (like the saw on "Seoul"!), creating the unique, yet beautiful, sounds. I listen to this album a lot at work when I need to focus on something, yet want to listen to music. I'm a programmer, so this works out great for background listening.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FREAK'N AMAZING!!!! September 29, 2007
Format:Audio CD
WOW! We first heard them a few years ago open for Sigur Ros and they almost stole the show! We were so excited that they then played with the main act. This first CD is incredible...so delicate and magical yet very avant garde as well. This is a truly wonderful CD and a great addition to your collection, especially if you like different, experimental, magical and gentle music. ENJOY!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swell! October 22, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I grabbed this album on a whim and have to say I am really pleased with the leap of faith. Upon my first listen, I was afraid that band was just the middle ground between Mum and Sigor Ros, however, with each progressive listen this quartet sunk deeper into my brain.

The album has a really nice natural sound to it. It seems to me that all parts were hand played on an diverse range of analog instruments. It doesn't sound to my ears that they have any samples going on and I have say that this is one of the albums greatest strengths. It really feels like four people conversing musically with each other and responding in a very raw compelling way. It's all very beautiful and delicate.

If you like Mum, Sigor Ros, Bjork, Cocteau Twins or CocoRosie and the like- I imagine you will have a good time with album. I also recommend this for folks who like sound scaping things along the lines of Robert Fripp or fans of Miles Davis- In A Silent Way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars meditative and healing November 25, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I happened upon Amiina's Kurr while looking for music to listen to after a recent surgery and am so happy I did. The music is playful, light, and lyrical while creating a tone of ethereal peacefulness. As an artist, I will surely use this music in my studio to support my creative practice as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get away August 23, 2007
By Wes
Format:Audio CD
Leaving work one day I put this on. It had the instant effect of soothing the day's stress away. So calming and dreamlike. You'll look up and stare at the clouds and just feel like you're floating up there among them. Excellent for falling asleep to or anything that requires a tranquil setting. What a beautiful delight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLOCKWORK WEFT February 8, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There's an epicyclic music-box quality to this consistently fragile and delicate work: a sense of precision at once profound and simultaneously subsumed by its resultant beauty and understatement. Airy, consonant, reflective even during some curiously well-fitted theremin passages, (recall the saw found on Deathprod's "Morals and Dogma") these 12 pieces are so even-keeled that they operate equally well as vertical music -- come and go as you please -- and as active listening: the cover image providing an excellent metaphor in representation of the music within (and no relation to Climax Blues Band "Tightly Knit"). For listeners of Sigur Ros, perhaps too demure. For listeners of Rachel's and Clogs the music of Kurr will be familiar in places, but resolutely unengaged with contrasts of the violent sort, deeply engaged in contrasts of the subtle sort. For this listener, a sense of gratitude that the quieter voices are finding a channel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Icelandic dreams come true
This all female group spins enchanting music evoking crystalline night skies, Northern Lights, and steam-powered dreamscapes; like breathing pure oxygen.
Published 10 months ago by karen
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Amiina offers an ambient and melodic atmosphere that's never too dull. Their use of a wide range of instruments allows for some very unique sounds. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Romney
5.0 out of 5 stars truly amazing,
Amiina's Kurr is a great piece of work, Sigur Rós' string quartet was really well chosen. Only a few albums have the feeling this one does, for me it's a weird mixture of... Read more
Published on August 7, 2011 by just another customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilly + Unique Ambient Post-Rock from Iceland
Known primarily as the four pixies (decked out in pseudo-spinster garb) who traveled the world opening for Sigur Ros as the height of their Takk fame, Amiina - María Huld... Read more
Published on January 28, 2011 by Gregory William Locke
5.0 out of 5 stars amiina
as a huge fan of sigur ros, i was pleased to find out that the girls who made up their string section were making a cd of their own. Read more
Published on July 9, 2009 by Alice Fire
5.0 out of 5 stars Kurr
Product came in quickly and was of excellent quality. I have not heard Amiina's work before but I am impressed by the sound.
Published on December 26, 2008 by Everett L. Crockett
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing grace
This graceful piece has all the bells, strings, xylophone and chime influences which will catch you ears in a kind way. Read more
Published on April 18, 2008 by Dominique J. B. Feneyrou
4.0 out of 5 stars Wintertime music
To be honest, Amiina didn't really grab me the first time I listened. It flowed in one ear, out the other, and left me thinking, "What was I listening to again? Read more
Published on January 12, 2008 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars Amiina
Similarly to Sigur Ros... Amiina is grand... and it arrived at the same time/in the same package as their boy-icelandic-counterpart. Read more
Published on December 13, 2007 by elia greatcoat
5.0 out of 5 stars Icelandic Grace
Kurr, the new album by Amiina who have been a backing band for fellow Icelanders Sigur Ros, has a totally unique sound that mixes classical style with a very modern, contemporary... Read more
Published on November 14, 2007 by Captain Blvd
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