Reptilicus is an Icelandic project composed by G.I. Markússon and Jóhann Eiríksson that started to release since 1990. I haven’t listened to the whole discography, but after a few listens, my sense is that the description I found on Discogs suits the spirit of what they do perfectly. I will mark a sentence that I particulary like in the description : Reptilicus is a collaborative effort of two Icelanders who will take anything sonic from the environment and organize it into what might be called the semblance of music. Making “music” is not a primary goal and the main concern is with pushing the boundaries of what is considered “listenable” and to this end a variety of sonic sources are infused with new meaning. Using modern methods of synthesis, sampling and the electronic treating of various elements in combination with traditional instruments they make collages where the guideline is functional rather then aesthetic. Awareness of the fact that any reliance on a single approach, or the refinement of one single method, might in the end be self-defeating as it would lead to the stagnation which safety invites, has made them move between state of the art studios, basic recording environments and outdoor happenings where only simple wind and percussive instruments are being used.”

In late November 2011, Reptilicus, Senking (Jens Massel), Rúnar Magnússon, and Orphx shared the bill at a concert in Toronto organised by Praveer Baijal founder of Toronto label Yatra-Arts. The occasion was to celebrate the release of Reptilicus’ first output in years: Initial Conditions, a blue vinyl 7″ that included a remix by Senking on the B-side. (I share the Senking remix unofficial Youtube video with their approval)

At the time, production for modular-synthesizer documentary I Dream of Wires was under way. Reptilicus, Senking and Rúnar Magnússon were among the first wave of artists featured for the project. Praveer Baijal of Yatra-Arts introduced the bands to William Blakeney, executive producer of the film, and a session was organized at Grant Avenue Studio in Hamilton, Ontario. The legendary studio was founded by the Lanois brothers and the site of numerous classic recordings, among them many of Brian Eno‘s and Daniel Lanois‘ ambient series in the 1980s.

A collection of vintage modular synthesizers was made available for sonic exploration, among them EMS Synthi A, ARP 2600 + sequencer, Moog 15, Minimoog, Roland System 100 + sequencer. Reptilicus also brought their P-synth, a drone machine built by Guðlaugur Kristinn Óttarsson (Godkrist), electricity wizard and guitarist of such bands as Kukl and Þeyr.

The bands were privileged to have Bob Doidge (Crash Test Dummies, Cowboy Junkies), at the mixing desk, and enjoyed the assistance and deep expertise of Dean Batute when operating the vintage gear. Director Rob Fantinatto filmed the Saturday session which featured in I Dream of Wires: Hardcore edition.


Afterwards, Senking and Reptilicus, with Rúnar Magnússon as a third member, worked on the raw material in a truly trans-European fashion from their respective locations in Cologne, Reykjavík and Copenhagen. The result of their collaboration is the album Unison.