Tuesday, 6 December 2011

iamamiwhoami - Who are they anyway?

Well, Swedish definitely and fronted by singer Jonna Lee along with a big dose of mystery.

There is repeated symbolism, numerical codes, unusual imagery, cups of semen, mandrake root folklore (you know the thing put under the bed in Pan’s Labyrinth), toilet roll, a black dog, beautiful forest scenes and all while she wears impressive fake eyelashes and very little else. Ticks a lot of my boxes anyway.

Iamamwhoami (it takes a bit of practise to say but you get it in the end) are an ongoing stylised project backed by some pretty hook laden electronic music. They have been around since late 2009 but currently keep popping up in my radar. Interviews are few and far between, identities have been pretty obscured up until quite recently with a cult following of fans deciphering code heavy track titles in the pursuit of clarification of ‘who’. Where some of the mystery is dispelled via online gimmicky technology, that vacuous thumbs up social network, the little birdy information sharer and mostly in the ‘go viral’ world of uploading videos, deleting them due to copyright dilemmas, replacing them with more strangeness where needed and then re uploading. Clever teasing. 

Who knows where it’s all heading but I’m guessing not towards a straightforward EP or any traditional route. The package so far is superbly voyeuristic but not gratuitous photography and videos to promote toe-tapping tunes. To start with is  ‘;john’, at first glance looks like some sort of sperm bank with a queue of scantily clad people waiting outside a room. 

Meanwhile vocalist Jonna clad in a towelling fetishy gimp suit dances provocatively on a bed of toilet rolls before allowing a member of the queue in. At this point she is masked and the mysteries of what then goes on in the room are flashed quickly on screens for the waiting to view. To finish is the hanging of a bag of the collected above a doorway amongst levitating white coat hangers. All beautifully gift wrapped in her unique vocal style and some clever catchy bleeping.

I love the tunes and the videos for that ‘did she just?’ feel; weirdness for weird’s sake perhaps but it works and holds your attention while listening to some very easy on the ear electronic music. ‘Clump’ continues in the same vain with another great track that links in video wise with Jonna again lying on a bed of toilet rolls, shot from above and only from neck up, moving in time to her own music…or perhaps something a little more penetrative?

For those who like The Knife and solo off shoot Fever Ray, she, they or whoever iamamiwhoami are, capture that signature Nordic clash of humanity, mystery, nature and technology while delivering some remarkably simple yet good layered tunes. It speaks for itself.

Interview on Bullet Media

Thanks to NYDiscovery Music on Twitter that's timely tweet reminded me to check iamamiwhoami out further.


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