I know, I know… I’m supposed to care about the music that’s on the record, not the jacket. But how often do you stop and check something out because the jacket catches your eye? It happens to me all the damn time. I’m sure that means that I miss some cool stuff, but it also gets me to at least look into a lot of bands that I otherwise might not consider.
Just look at this jacket. Look at it. Of course I had to know what this is about.
What Mixophrygian is about is one Mr. Daði Freyr Pétursson, a synth-pop producer from Iceland putting out a solo release. And to quote Barry in High Fidelity, “It’s really… it’s really fucking good.”
Mixophrygian prompted me to place an order with my friends at Reykjavik’s Lucky Records, because there’s pretty much no way I was going to find this limited edition (of 300) double album here in Seattle. The gatefold packaging is exceptional, as is the translucent purple vinyl, clean and bright.
There are a lot of high points on Mixophrygian, the first of which is “Forever” with the beautiful vocal by Arna Lára Pétursdóttir accompanying Pétursson’s own creamy voice. From there it just gets even better, with all three songs on side B (“New Year,” “The Love,” the very Daft Punk-esque “Me, Myself and You,” and “Phrases”) giving you a full dose of groovy synth-pop, with simple beats and more of that smooth singing, nothing super fancy here, just… just right.
On the start of side C, I’m pretty sure The Chipmunks snuck in for a few verses on “Disconnected,” but you know what? It works in its own way. And you know, now that I think of it, the vocals remind me a little of another Icelandic synth-pop band called RetRoBot who put out one six-song CD back in 2012… which turned out, once I did some looking online, to be for a very good reason – because Daði was a member of that band, contributing synths and some vocals. The only reason I think I was able to put those pieces together was because I literally just happened to listen to RetRoBot’s album Blackout the other day on my iPod. Why? I don’t know. Just one of those weird deals. Thought I did just kind of trip myself out there a bit. This project is a bit more mellow and not quite as dark as the RetRoBot material, something a bit easier to just chill to.
Mixophrygian is some great soothing synth pop. But don’t take my word for it. You can listen to the whole thing for free on Bandcamp right HERE, so go give it a least and see (and more importantly hear) for yourself.