Sigur Rós: INNI DVD (XL) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Studio: XL

Nov 14, 2011 Issue #38 - 10th Anniversary Issue Bookmark and Share

In a scene just before the opening credits of INNI, Sigur Rós sits in a radio station, baffled at how to answer their well-meaning interviewer’s question about the evolution of their sound. With interview and backstage footage juxtaposed with explosive live performances, INNI could double as the flipside to Radiohead’s Meeting People is Easy—a documentary of a well-adjusted band who, despite not knowing exactly what they’re doing offstage, can sure make a glorious racket onstage. Favoring performance over narrative, INNI goes out of its way to highlight Sigur Rós at their best, even as they’re caught promising in the early days of their musical career, “Our next album will be much better.”

Beautifully lensed by director Vincent Morisset (Arcade Fire’s Miroir Noir), the performance footage comes from a 2008 show at London’s Alexandra Palace—the band’s last before going on hiatus, and their first concert in nearly a decade without their backing string quartet, amiina. Filmed in black and white on 16mm—and then re-filmed to include additional grain and artful, prism-created smears—Morisset crafts an atmosphere of miasmic beauty. Both ethereal and foreboding, abstract close-ups and jarring cuts create a feel more akin to Fellini or Godard than modern concert films. It’s appropriate, given that after five studio albums and 17 years Sigur Rós remains the vanguard of the experimental post-rock movement. Morisset chooses his moments carefully, from the large (Jón “Jónsi” Þór coaxing an extensive range of his of tones out of his guitar via voice and bow) and small (drummer Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson’s polka-dot socks). With audio mixed by the band’s in-house engineer, Birgir Jón Birgisson, this is one worth testing the upper limits of your home speakers for—particularly during the rapturous closing song, where an undeniable joie de vivre (and confetti) covers band and audience alike. (

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Sigur Rós christened their newly completed studio by recording an EP with an Icelandic fisherman named Steindór Andersen. The EP contains six songs, all of which feature Steindór Andersen reciting traditional Icelandic poetry called rímur.

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