After working in numerous metal and experimental projects, Aðalsteinn Jörundsson decided in the summer of 2008 to pair a selection of his poetry with his experimental noise sounds to create a new project, AMFJ. By the end of that year he had already made his mark on nearly every Reykjavík venue, raising hell and wreaking havoc along the way.
AMFJ’s inaugural cassette, Itemhljóð & Veinan, was released on FALK (an artist run label/art society) in May 2009 and was produced by Jóhann Fr. Jóhannsson (7oi). The release gained some media attention, mainly through The Reykjavík Grapevine, a local English-language magazine, which wrote of the offering “There’s a point where art-music becomes almost transcendentally self-indulgent and that is the point at which it also becomes
magnificent.” Florian Zhulke, a music writer for The Grapevine, also listed the cassette among his top 5 Icelandic releases of 2009 in a year-end review.
Over the course of 2010 AMFJ sporadically released The Modern AMFJ Compendium of New Musics for Headphone Listening Single Series, which, as the title implies, is a series of mp3 singles that were composed to be enjoyed strictly via headphones to reach a hypnotic state, and to modify the perception of ones surroundings by altering the listeners audio experience. It went critically unnoticed, mainly because the tracks were released online without promotion. Some compositions were used as building blocks for tracks on AMFJ’s subsequent release, Bæn (2011).
Bæn is AMFJ’s most ambitious release to date. It was produced by Valdimar Jóhannsson (Reykjavík! Nine Elevens, Lazyblood) and has received critical acclaim in media, both in Iceland and abroad. The aim of Bæn was to execute all the usual aspects of power electronics and noise with a new angle and different approach in its sound, feel, and visual aesthetic, thus building upon an otherwise two-dimensional genre.
Whether fast and furious, or calm and pensive, all AMFJ shows have intensity in common. Ranging from 25-40 minutes in length, they are filled with mesmerizing feedback loops, mixed with loud, beat oriented playbacks, and feature heavily sound-altered vocals presented with a powerful and often theatrical performance, leaving no one untouched.