My infatuation with Ghostigital is well documented. I’d be lying if I said it was “love at first listen,” and ultimately it was the song “Good Morning” off of 2006s In Cod We Trust that finally sunk the hooks into me. I haven’t looked back since. I even got to meet vocalist Einar Örn at a gallery showing of his artwork, and we’ve got one of his original pieces hanging on a wall at home. I may not have quite reached super-fan stalker status, but I’m not far off.
I recall The Antimatter Boutique hitting the racks of Reykjavik’s label/shop Smekkleysa about a day or two into Iceland Airwaves 2013, and I snatched up a copy immediately. The CDs (♠) 17 tracks are a combination of remixes of Ghostigital songs by other artists, remixes of other artists’ songs by Ghostigital, and a few rarities. It’s an eclectic mix of tunes, and one that seems to have slipped by most Icelandic music fans, which is too bad because this is one trippy collection.
And it gets weird right off the bat with the opening track, “Green Eggs and Ham.” Yes, that’s right kids, Ghostigital doing Dr. Seuss. This was originally recorded in 2012 for NPR and as far as I know doesn’t appear on any formal release. Einar’s stilted delivery of Suess’ words combined with Curver’s beats is an unsettling take on what is, frankly, some unsettling source material, and it’s guaranteed to mess with your brain. That’s followed by an outtake called “Elastic Tongue” that didn’t make the duo’s last full-length release, 2012s Division of Culture and Tourism, though it did appear on their Record Store Day special from that same year, Don’t Push Me E.P.
After those two originals we get into the remix game, with Gusgus giving us some serious funk in their take on “Hvar Eru Peningarnir Minir?”, followed by a more metallic but still funky version of the Ghostigital classic “Crackers” re-done by Plúseinn. From there Ghostigital turn the tables with their own mix of Björk’s “Innocence”, giving it the full-on metallic and brain-pan-scarping Curver treatment turning the original completely on its head and creating an anti-pop sonic assault to which Einar adds some of his own vocal flourishes. This track, titled “Untouchable Innocence Still Amazes,” is probably the highlight of the collection, though the Gusgus mix of “Not Clean” certainly gives it a run for its money as does the version of “Dreamland,” the second half of which is sublime.
There’s so much great material on The Antimatter Boutique that giving you a full rundown would probably take 2,500 words, and frankly I think it would be a bit much. So instead I’ll direct you to their Bandcamp page where you can check it all out for free, and buy a digital download for just $7.
(♠) No vinyl version I’m afraid.