Pantophobia is defined as the “fear of everything”. The term was first used by Théodule-Armand Ribot who explained it a bit more eloquently and certainly a little more romantically as “a state in which a patient fears everything or nothing, where anxiety, instead of being riveted on one object, floats as in a dream, and only becomes fixed for an instant at a time, passing from one object to another, as circumstances may determine.”
It’s a fitting title for the latest release by Þórir Georg, especially the floating on a dream bit. Georg’s compositions are fairly stripped down, though perhaps not as much so as on some of his other works, while his voice flows through (not over) his musical compositions like a creek – not too fast, but hardly at rest either, with a certain restlessness, a sense of needing to get somewhere soon but not actually going anywhere in particular. The vocals give the sense of a certain resigned intensity, not fully desperate but more moderately anxious, as if he recognizes this as his normal state and has come to resignedly accept it. The music builds in intensity across the first side of the cassette giving the listener an increased sense of anxiety, moving from slowly acoustic to fuller-sounding to discordant in a way to change the listener’s emotional state.
I’ve run across Þórir Georg a few times in Reykjavik, but never introduced myself. He’s one of those guys who sort of seems to have a bit of a wall around him, not in an arrogant or egotistical way, but more of a shield of privacy that I feel compelled to respect. I’m pretty sure every time I’ve seen him has been at Lucky Records, which is probably not surprising given that the cover photo to Pantophobic was obviously taken in that store. Maybe this year when we’re in town for Airwaves I’ll make a point of saying “hi”.
You can go HERE to experience Georg and Pantophobic in all of its glory. His catalog runs fairly deep, so I encourage you to poke around while you’re paying his Bandcamp page a visit, because there’s a lot to like there.