For years there were 2 places I wanted to see above all others: Istanbul and Iceland. The former was probably based in those Koyaanasqatsi films, one of which had a great scene in Istanbul (I think in the Blue Mosque) with the camera gliding across some twinkling, sparking roof tiles, but Iceland? Who knows, but it probably had something to do with the Sugarcubes (whose Birthday clip is almost exactly what Reykjavik was like when I finally got there, for a long weekend with Sheila, apart from the lack of a group of naked people standing in a shop window pouring Cheerios over each other: well, it was a festival weekend).
That anyone from that band went on to become known and loved worldwide is a bit of a surprise (less so that it wasn’t mad Einar, the ranty trumpet playing ‘rapper’), but looking back at their clips it’s easy to see the basis of Bjork’s appeal: when she went solo she just had a bit more camera time in the videos. Joining ranks with Nellee Hooper, the superstar producer of the 90s, was the turning point, making the music sound huge despite coming from tiny Kaosilators and so on, and none more so than this epic track, the sweet spot between Michel Gondry’s warped visuals (before going on to make Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and a fleet of demented teddy bears, Hooper’s Just One More Noise mix and Bjork’s best Mad Pixie performance. It combines to make what I sometimes think is the inside of Polly’s head.
What fun it must be in there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDbPYoaAiyc