In an interview with the Guardian published today (August 19), the pop icon opened up on her upcoming album, which is informed by grief over her mother’s passing in 2018 and being grounded in her native Iceland for the first time in a while due to the pandemic.
During the pandemic, Björk told the publication, she would have “crazy DJ nights” at home where she would end up just DJing the Dutch techno variant known as gabber. That genre – and bass clarinet – are described as the key sonic touchpoints of ‘Fossora’, which features contributions from the Bali-based electronic punks Gabber Modus Operandi.
The duo of Ican Harem and DJ Kasimyn first connected with Björk over a video call. There, she explained that she was making a “mushroom album”, “like digging a hole in the ground” – only to find kindred spirits in Gabber Modus Operandi, who told her that they had recently “took some gamelan drums and dug them in the ground and played them there and recorded it”.
The duo sent Björk beats, which she edited into what they call “biological techno” – which is also the name of the Whatsapp group chat they share. Björk was full of praise for the group and how they fuse harsh electronics and traditional sounds of Balinese gamelan music: “They’re taking tradition into the 21st century, which I really respect. They do it like nobody else.”
Gabber Modus Operandi have been busy in 2022 touring, heading to Europe earlier this year for a three-month jaunt that included stops at Primavera Sound and Alter Festival, among others. They also performed at Joyland Bali, the Indonesian music festival that kicked off the returning wave of fests to the country, and will be performing at Synchronize Fest later this year.
On the recorded front, Gabber Modus Operandi have released two albums: 2018 debut album ‘PUXXXIMAXXX’ and 2019 follow-up ‘Hoxxxya’. Last year, they reissued ‘PUXXXIMAXXX’ with three bonus tracks.
Elsewhere, Ican has been organising the music festival Ravepasar (which collaborated with Joyland) and Kasimyn has just announced the first release on his label Gorong Gorong Records.
Gabber Modus Operandi’s work with Björk will emerge when she releases ‘Fossora’ this autumn. Other collaborators on the record include the singer Serpentwithfeet and her own children, Sindri and Doa.