Emily Mackay – Homogenic

Homogenic

 

I have a small confession

I have never heard Homogenic, until yesterday (April 5th)

Now don’t get me wrong. I have all of Bjork’s main albums and listened to them many times (Medulla is my fave, Biophilia is the least) but I have never been able to find a copy of Homogenic and for some weird reason Spotify and my computer do not get along.

But it exists out there and as a first listen, it was an excellent one. The stand out track being Alarm Call.

Anyways Homogenic is an important album in Bjork’s mighty discography as it was the first album she had 100% control on, had a heavy emphasis on electronic music, is the first proper homage to her native Iceland and in the process convinced the media that she just wasn’t some kooky elfin oddity. I also see it as the bridge to the more experimental work she would pursue later on. Also it is worth noting that she experienced some traumatic events in the year she was recording this album and that mood fed itself into the record.

Emily MacKay’s volume displays her adoration for Bjork and there’s a lot of detail but despite all the information, this book is not one huge trivia dump, it is a serious exploration of Bjork’s heritage, the influences behind Homogenic and what Bjork was going through while recording it. Also there’s interpretations of the Homogenic promo videosand how Bjork embraced the nascent World Wide Web. There’s also interviews with people who were involved such as Eno collaborator Markus Dravs and Guy Sigisworth, who give some interesting information about the recording techniques. Not to mention other people such as author Sjon (who wrote the lyrics to bachelorette) Bjork’s nanny and even the famous Joga who all had their part in this album.

This volume is a joy to read. I had a lot of fun reading about this essential album and is an immersive experience.

So far Homogenic the last one in the 33 1/3 series for now (four new volumes are coming out in April) so it’s ending on a high (pitched) note.

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