YouTube Sessions: Borgar Magnason

Borgar Magnason is a double bass player, improviser and composer. His interests range from improvised and experimental compositions to traditional orchestral and chamber music.

A constant collaborator, the Icelandic musician has worked with a wide array of artists in the past including film maker Guy Maddin, video artists 33 1/3, Húbert Nói and Brian Eno. More recently Magnason has been working with Howie B, a producer whose past collaborations include prolific artists such as Björk, Tricky, U2, Hans Zimmer and Soul II Soul.

Having worked together on projects such as Music For Astronauts and Cosmonauts in the past, their latest venture sees them perform alongside each other for a special live set at Houghton Festival, the three-day Norfolk event which is curated by Fabric’s Craig Richards and produced by Gotwood Festival.

Ahead of Magnason’s performance, he’s crafted together a diverse list of some of his favourite musical pieces, each sharing the common characteristic of being able to move the soul and body. With classic Portishead, Alan Lomax’s unique field recordings and Kendrick Lamar, check below for a full playlist as well as an introduction from Magnason.

We’ve got to keep moving and there is no movement without rhythm. I suppose the secrets of repetition are well known to every EDM fan out there, but it´s not just dance music. The principle applies to every genre and all aspects of life.

A good groove is magical, it eliminates the distinction between body and soul. It has the power to heal our wounds, invoke violence in us and anything in between. While this might seem like a diverse list, what these tracks all have in common is a basic pulse that moves the soul (and body sometimes).

Glory Box & Hell is Round the Corner


These two go hand in hand, close your eyes and feel the groove go straight to your loins.

David Lang – Just (After Song of Songs) – Youth Original Soundtrack Album

That’s such a beautiful composition. Close your eyes and notice how the groove of this one, boycotts your intellect, going straight to your heart.

Nordlyd – My Heart (Mariam Wallentin)

Maybe Scandinavians have a particular sense of rhythm , simple, clean, sober? Anyway, here´s the best of Scandinavia, I just love Mariam!

Early in the morning – Prison Music – (Alan Lomax)

Here’s a very direct example of how we use rhythm to get us through tough the day. The song belong to the musical tradition which Africans brought to the New World, but they are also as American as the Mississippi River.

Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE.

And 70 years later this comes out and evokes the exact same emotions in me.

Gavin Bryars – Jesus Blood never failed me yet

Oh, the magic of repetition. Herés a prime example of what Im talking about.

Laurie Anderson – Broken

Last but not least. The joint efforts of Joey Baron on drums and Skúli Sverrisson bass and programming. Something about that groove that just kills me.

Borgar Magnason plays at Houghton Festival on August 10 – 13. More info and tickets available here.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!