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Boomkat Product Review:
Icelandic post-rock maven Stafraenn Hakon seems to have been churning out excellent material at a solid rate for years now, but with this latest offering it seems like he could well have hit paydirt. Gummi broadens Hakon's formula considerably, taking on board a greatly expanded sound palette, including hammered dulcimers, harps, glockenspiels, elements of electronic intervention and of course, that staple of Icelandic music, the whacking great string section. Clearly Stafraenn's flying directly into Sigur Ros-governed airspace with that sort of stuff, but so long as he keeps pulling it off with as much panache as he does here, that's just fine and dandy. In fact, Gummi's probably the ideal album for anyone who felt Sigur Ros have got a bit too epic for their own good. Hakon fills his productions with layers of delay-drenched guitars and crackling electronic beats, delivering vocal intermittently - in English no less. There's an awful lot to recommend this album: it's beautifully produced, the songs are extremely well-written and Hakon has retained the kind of distinctive guitar playing traits that characterised his earlier releases. He deserves some real crossover success with this one.