Sunday, November 28, 2021

Q4U - Q1 1982

Today on a visit to the far north of Europe and we meet an amazingly versatile band that only made a mini-album in the early eighties but meanwhile there are some CD re-releases out and read the following information about the artists: Q4U are one of the great survivors of Icelandic music and was founded winter of 1980-1981 in Reykjavík, inspired by the British punk movement. It’s original members were Elínborg (Ellý) Halldórsdóttir (vocals), Berglind (Linda) Garðarsdóttir (vocals), Steinþór Stefánsson (guitar), Gunnþór Sigurðsson (bass), Helgi (drums) and Már (synthesizer). Helgi and Már soon left the band & Helgi was replaced by Kormákur (Kommi) Geirharðsson on drums. By early 1982 they self-released a full length cassette, “Skaf Í Dag” and appeared in the documentary Rokk í Reykjavík, which showcased the Icelandic punk scene. This version of the band ended and only two members continued on. In the summer of 1982 Ellý and Gunnþór recruited Óðinn Guðbrandsson (guitar) and Árni Daníel (synthesizer) from the band Taugadeildin. Their drummer was replaced by a Roland TR-808 drum machine they named “Elísabet II”. signaling a change in the group’s sound toward synthesizer-driven post punk. In August 1983 they reinstated Kormákur to record a final set of demos and then called it quits.

Q4U began with a stylish, aggressive Punk image before experimenting with drum machines and synthesizers, which almost nobody did in Reykjavík at the time. The later sound had gothic leanings,often compared with Siouxsie & The Banshees and X-Mal Deutschland. Their body of work is united by the powerful vocals of Ellý, who mostly sings in Icelandic about controversial, political experiences, much like Ari Up of The Slits.

In 1984-1985 the group Þetta er bara Kraftwerk (ÞEYR) continued working on similar post-punk synth music Q4U as had been working with. Ellý and Árni Daníel teamed up with Árni Daníel's little brother Ingólfur and later Óskar Þórisson joined. This group recorded a few songs as demos, but did not publish anything in its lifetime. Everybody started having families, studying or working. Then in 1996 the group came together again, under the influence of the grunge movement and the interest in punk and post-punk that blossomed at the time. Now it was decided to put together a CD with some of the unreleased material of the group and publish it. This CD, Q2, contained much of the unreleased demos from 1982, a demo from late 1982 with the synth version of the group, the EP from 1983 and the demos from August 1983. There was also one song by ÞEYR on the CD. It was published in 1997 under the name Q2. Q4U followed the publication of the CD up with a number of concerts in 1996-1998 and also with television performances, of which some are available on the YouTube. One of these is with the song Egó, which is otherwise unpublished. The line-up was Gunnþór, Ellý, Árni Daníel, Ingólfur from ÞEYR and a new drummer, Guðmundur Gunnarsson.

The group is currently rehearsing again after another thirteen years abscence, with two gigs already having taken place in 2010. (source: DarkEntriesRecords)

Consistently awesome stuff and interesting for everyone!

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