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One of Iceland's longest-running and most eclectic electronic acts, GusGus combine trip-hop, house, alternative dance, techno, and other styles. They made their breakthrough with 1997's 4AD-issued Polydistortion, a mixture of lounge, breakbeat, trance, and more. The group incorporated more acid house and electro influences on subsequent efforts like 2002's Attention, and eventually found a home at Kompakt with a run of tech-house-inspired releases, including 2011's well-received Arabian Horse. 2021's Mobile Home, issued on GusGus' own Oroom imprint, merged dramatic electro-house and synth pop. DanceOrama, split between anthemic pop songs and journey-like instrumentals, appeared in 2023. Formed as a cinema collective in early 1995 by filmmakers Stefán Árni Þorgeirsson and Sigurður Kjartansson, the group expanded to include musicians such as DJ Magnús Guðmundsson (aka Herb Legowitz) and Þórarinsson, who had previously worked together in the minimal house project T-World, as well as singer/songwriters Haraldsson, Hafdís Huld Þrastardóttir, and Magnús Jónsson, and producer Baldur Stefánsson. This version of GusGus self-released their self-titled debut album in 1995. Among a handful of groups in the mid-'90s with access to dance circles as well as the indie community, GusGus gained support from LFO (with Mark Bell's remix of "Believe") and one of London's most celebrated DJ stores, Fat Cat Records, while playing their first date in England. The band signed to 4AD, and the label released Polydistortion -- which included ten of the songs from GusGus in remixed form -- in 1997. The more song-oriented and house-rooted This Is Normal followed in 1999. After that album's release, filmmakers Þorgeirsson and Kjartansson left GusGus to form the production company Arni & Kinski. GusGus vs. T-World, which focused on Guðmundsson and Þórarinsson's early work, appeared the following year. It was the group's last release with 4AD. By the time of 2002's Attention, issued by Darren Emerson's Underwater Records and American label Moonshine Music, GusGus had slimmed down to a quartet that included vocalist Earth (Urður Hákonardóttir) and an appropriately focused sound based in acid house and electro. Mixed Live appeared a year later, and the group returned with new material in 2007, funneling their mix of acid-inspired synths and streamlined dance tracks into Forever, released on their own Pineapple label. GusGus then linked with the Kompakt label for a period during which their membership was reduced to a trio and ultimately swelled into a quintet. While with the Cologne, Germany-based label, GusGus released the sprawling 24/7 (2009), the relatively song-oriented Arabian Horse (2011), and, after Birgir Þórarinsson gained additional notice for his production work on John Grant's Pale Green Ghosts, Mexico (2014). In 2016, GusGus became the duo of Daniel Ágúst Haraldsson and Þórarinsson. After spending a couple of years touring, writing, and remixing, they returned with their tenth album. Half songs featuring Haraldsson's vocals and half instrumentals, Lies Are More Flexible arrived in 2018 via the duo's Oroom label. A handful of remix EPs followed, and Margrét Rán Magnúsdóttir of Vök joined the band in 2021, appearing on the full-length Mobile Home, which also included an appearance by Grant. 2022's Bolero EP found the group covering Fancy's 1985 Euro-disco hit "Bolero (Hold Me in Your Arms Again)," again with Grant. DanceOrama, a mixture of numerous '80s and '90s dance influences from Italo-disco to trance, appeared in 2023.
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