Icelander Biggi Veira, together with Daniel Águst and Hōgni Egilsson, is Gus Gus these days. The ‘band’/collective have been around for 20 years and nine albums now, spanning innumerable line-up changes that have seen such luminaries as Emilíana Torrini, Hafdis Huld and Earth (Urður Hákonardóttir) come and go, and dropping techno bangers like all-time classic Moss, genre-bending Selfoss and the stentorian Add This Song along the way.
When he’s not making Gus Gus music, Biggi – real name Birgir Þórarinsson – is a music producer; the splendid John Grant‘s last album Pale Green Ghosts amply shows off his skills in that department. And the operation have remixed a who’s who of their contemporaries and compatriots down the years, from Björk to Depeche Mode and from Sigur Rós to Moloko.
Ahead of a couple of rare UK dates showing off most recent album Mexico, including a headline set at London’s KOKO, Biggi raided his memory to tell us about the albums that have influenced him most for Gus Gus’s This Music Made Me…
Dire Straits – Love Over Gold
This one got me interested in music basically, when I was 13.
I listened to the track Telegraph Road like endlessly.
It introduced me to the deeper emotional side of music.
Queen – Hot Space
That track Body Language just made me feel cool.
I was hooked on beats after that.
Thompson Twins – Into The Gap
I was 16. I ended up in the same class as the two boys taking care of the DJing at my school. They introduced me to Hi-Nrg and Italian Disco that I totally fell for.
Silvester and Lime were my favourite but they also introduced me to the boys a year younger. They had all the new UK electronic stuff.
Check out The Gap on this one.
Soft Cell – Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing
My friend Beggi introduced me to Soft Cell.
I practically wore this one out and had to buy a new one.
Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward
It was through the grooves of Depeche Mode that I got dragged to the darker end of music’s emotional pool.
Check the groove in Lie To Me and you know what I mean.
808 State – Ex:el
The sweet ’90s, with its enormous explosion of music with a mixture of punk and soul. Wild explorations of grooves. For the clubbers it was heaven.
I just loved this album.
Bandulu – Guidance
This was one of my favorite in ‘94/’95. Saw them at Uxi festival in Iceland that summer. Loved their soundscapes.
Check out the tracks Guidance and Revelation. I had them constantly on repeat in my head, when I wasn’t actually playing them.
Paperclip People – The Secret Tapes of Dr Eich
Carl Craig was one of my big influences in the ’90s.
The 69 stuff was of course super cool, the track Desire made a big impact on me.
But this album was just so complete with its explorations. Impossible not to love it.
Autechre – Incunabula
Got drawn into this ‘93, ambient house vibe that started with The Orb.
But this album, specially the intro and Bike just knocked me out.
Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
Frank Ocean is one of the few contemporary US artists I have respect for.
The lyrics on this album and the vibe is just so to heart with my interest in individual and social issues.