Paul And Laura "Ilmvatnajokull" ( Nanotapes 1992)
At the time ( 1992) I had never before received a home tape from Iceland (actually I may have received their tape “Mobius Shrimp” somewhat previously). This was very special to me and the music was charming, low key and wonderful. I wasn’t sure if Paul Lydon and Laura Valentino were from the USA or perhaps Britain originally. All I knew was that this gorgeous audio journey of acoustic guitars, living room style voices and odd little sounds crept into my heart and soul.
Back in the mid-80s the two of us were living in San Francisco and making music together. We needed a change of pace and decided to spend the summer of ’86 in Reykjavík. Afterwards it wasn’t long before we figured we’d try to return for a year and learn the language, which we did in 1988. We’ve been here since.
Around this time we’d become aware of magazines like Sound Choice, Writer’s Block and many more. We brought a Fostex four-track with us to Reykjavík, started recording and trading tapes. That led to us meeting a lot of nice people, and I’m thankful for everyone who through zines and radio made these kinds of connections possible.
At the time we made Ilmvatnajökull we were still in school learning Icelandic, living in a flat by the harbor over a marine equipment store. Vatnajökull is Iceland’s largest glacier, in the southeast, and ilmvatn means perfume, the cassette title is a made-up word.