Emmsjé Gauti – “Þeyr” (2013)

I was a bit late to the Emmsjé Gauti party.  As a student of Advancement, I of course blame myself for this.  My first experiences with him were live shows, and given that I can’t speak a lick of Icelandic I was left with only the remaining two elements from which to form an opinion – the sound and the show.  And Gauti just isn’t as flashy as some of his peers in the Icelandic hip hop scene, so to my detriment I probably dismissed him a bit.  My bad, because his sophomore album Þeyr is a pure flow machine.

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Am I the only one who gets just the slightest hint of Kid Rock’s beats in “Nýju Fötin Keisarans”?  That perfect small dose of otherness infused into the otherwise smooth electro-beats give it the perfect whiff of something special, something to differentiate Gauti from the pack.  Throughout Þeyr the beats and flows have their roots in R&B.  A prime example is “Hvolpaást” with it’s pure sweet smoothness like a layer of impossibly rich whipped cream, a bit sticky but oh so delicious.  But don’t think that means Emmsjé can’t get the party started, because he can and does on jams like “Verum Heimsk”, bringing faster cadence and ever-building beats and snare snaps.  This is the kind of track you want to spin when you’re deep into the night, maybe the peak already happened but you’ve still got that energy and you want to groove, baby.

You can give Guati a listen for free, including all of Þeyr, on Soundcloud HERE.   If you’re looking for something new in hip hop, the sound of the Icelandic language alone will make this worth your time.

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