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Worm is Green: Automagic

Worm is Green: Automagic

Label:Arena Rock Recordings
Release Date:2004

By Tony Ware | Posted 11/17/2004

A quintet formed around a soft-spoken, gentle giant, Worm Is Green is the latest group from the wee isle of Iceland to form eddies in the riptide of laptop arrangement. Like countrymen (and women) Múm, Worm Is Green creates a hushed, aching ambiance in lava-slow drifts and muted aurora borealis shimmers. Melancholic melody oozes glacially, microedited pips sighing in flurries with breakbeats occasionally burbling through. But unlike Múm’s delicate, porcelain delivery, Worm Is Green has more of an icy fortress of solitude fundament.

Originally released on the Thule Musik label, Automagic, Worm Is Green’s debut full-length, is 13 tracks of crisp, bristly trudge around which curl melodious wisps and spiny snyths. Yet a sensuous, sumptuous undercurrent of bulbous acoustic tones sits buoyantly beneath, like Christian Kleine, Telefon Tel Aviv, This Mortal Coil, or Saint Etienne—on ’ludes.

Singer Gudridur Ringsted’s detached delivery of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” sets the tone: Worm Is Green wastes no wonderment. All its smoky glitches smolder. “Shine” features a mildly more animated male-female exchange, but the vocals on “Outline” are smeared across a loping crackle. At Worm Is Green’s most compelling moments—the instrumental passages of “Morning Song,” “Sunday Session 3.04,” “Walk Thru,” and the second half of “Amazing Things”—bass groans as much as it pulses through the cloudy coo of the hiccups and flutters, yet another geothermic claim to musical fame for Iceland.

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