CloudSourcing: Zoon van SnooK

By Darren Ressler

Zoon van snooK is an electronic music producer who thinks and creates globally. Hailing from Bristol and currently based in Barcelona, van SnooK’s upcoming second album, The Bridge Between Life & Death, features 11 tracks of delicate electronica, found sounds, field recordings and collaborations with Icelandic artists Amiina, Benni Hemm Hemm and Sin Fang. Inspired by his deep appreciation of Björk, Sigur Rós and múm and a trip to the South West of Iceland in 2009, van SnooK drew influence from Reykjavik in order to realize his second record. The album’s Icelandic connection even extends to the artwork, a painting by Halldór Ragnarsson of Seabear produced especially to capture the spirit of the album. So it’s no surprise that van SnooK’s CloudSourcing features a wealth of Icelandic talent, many of whom he has collaborated with on his new album.

Lo Recordings will release Zoon van SnooK’s The Bridge Between Life & Death on May 21.

1. FM Belfast
I came across this lot about four years ago. Oddly enough it was the name that drew me in — an Icelandic band named after the Northern Irish capital! They make infectiously energetic electro, which is multiplied by 20 when you see them live. I saw them in Barcelona last year, and they really know how to work an audience. Their charm and humor come across brilliantly. We almost ended up working together as part of the remixes for my new record, but their schedule was not conducive this time unfortunately.

2. Benni Hemm Hemm
I found Benni through MORR Records. I had been listening to a number of other artists on the label (e.g. B Fleischmann) and decided to check the rest of the roster. Sure enough, pretty much everything else on the label I loved. It was 2007′s “Kajak” that got me hooked. There are some amazing tunes on that album — some fantastic time signatures (see: “Brekkan”). I was fortunate enough to be able to do a remix for one of the B-sides to his single “FF Ekki CC” in 2011, which paved the way for his contribution to my record.

3. Bix Sigurdsson
I first knew about Bix from his contribution to Sigur Rós’s remix LP Von brigði (1998). He went on to remix Madonna and Beck, but I found this track of his when I was compiling a special hour-long Icelandic mix for Ninja Tune’s Solid Steel Radio recently. I subsequently asked him if he would like to contribute a remix for my LP release, an offer which, along with Múm, he kindly accepted.

4. Snorri Helgason
This track was given away as a free download if I’m not mistaken. As far as I’m aware it doesn’t feature on any of his official release, either as a solo artist or as part his previous band Sprengjuhöllin, with whom he wrote several number one singles in Iceland. Although the progression is lovely, I particularly love the vocal melody on this track; it echoes around my head most days. Sindri Már Sigfússon (Sin Fang, Seabear) produced the last record of Snorri’s. I love the collaborative nature of all the guys over there, which is why Sindri was so open to contributing to my album.

5. Apparat Organ Quartet
Four keyboardists and one rock drummer: what’s not to like!! Non-sequenced, live analogue synth playing that gets really heavy in places. When you cite influences as diverse as Stereolab, Goblin, Terry Reilly and The Ramones, you know it’s going to be interesting! They started out doing minimalist, experimental improvization, which then developed into them writing more accessible, dance-floor-friendly compositions. I also love their artwork.