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Q4U: BEST OF

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In the winter of 1980-1981 Q4U was born. The punk movement hit Iceland relativelity late, about 1978-79, but when it did it hit hard and the scene immediately became very lively.The members of Q4U were initially two couples, Steinþór and Linda and Gunnþór and Ellý, along with two of their mates from the local punk scene in Reykjavík. They were Helgi the drummer and Már the keyboard player. Those two soon quit and no keyboard player was recruited until later, but Kommi became the drummer instead of Helgi. Steinþór, who was bassist with Fræbbblarnir, a rather established band on the scene, played guitar and Gunnþór, a roadie with the biggest band on the scene, Utangarðsmenn, played the bass. The two girls were the singers. This line-up, Steinþór, Kommi, Gunnþór and the girls appeared in the movie Rokk í Reykjavík, which was premiered in the spring of 1982 and showcased the Reykjavík punk scene. Q4U became stars in the movie because of their good looks and uncompomising punk stance, and the song Creeps, based on The Model by Kraftwerk, a hit. Even so, the obligations Steinþór had with Fræbbblarnir and internal divisions caused the breakup of the group soon after the premiere of Rokk í Reykjavík.The original Q4U never published any material besides the three songs appearing on the Rokk í Reykjavík soundtrack album. However, they recorded their whole production in a demo session at their rehearsal locale below a butcher´s shop with Árni Daníel, who also contributed keyboards and was regarded as part of the group at that time. Then the group called it the quits. These demos were not published until much later, in 1997, on the CD Q2.IIEllý and Árni Daníel were writing and gigging together with the group Handan grafar, a synth unit. This group then became Q4U #2, when Gunnþór joined on bass. Q4U #2 had a different focus as it decisively cut with the groups trash-punk past and worked primarily with post-punk influences. The synth was important and soon the drum machine TR 808 replaced the drummer. The group appeared as a three-piece in the spring of 1982 in Ísafjörður, but it was decided that the sound needed beefing up and the guitarist Óðinn Guðbrandsson was recruited. In this way the group appeared in august 1982 at the punk festival Melarokk in Reykjavík. Recordings of this concert are preserved both on video and audio.Q4U established itself with the performance at Melarokk as a post-punk unit, of which there really weren´t all that many in Reykjavík at the time. Almost nobody experimented with synths and drum machines besides Q4U. There was a further line-up change later in that year, as Óðinn left and was replaced by the guitarist Daniel Pollock from Utangarðsmenn. In this way the group started rehearsing for its EP, Q1, which contains six songs and is a 12 inch vinyl record. It was recorded in January 1983 and published in February to generally good reviews. Most seemed to be suprised at the transformation of the group, but of course it was really only a part of the old group, with Steinþór and Linda not participating, and especially Steinþór was a big punk star in Iceland. One could even say it was a totally new group, and the old name was used really because no other could be found that everybody was happy with.This version of Q4U also had a hit with the song Böring, now penned by the group itself. It was about a rather boring experience the singer Ellý had in Ísafjörður, where the police arrested her for some minor offence, but mostly because she was a punk rocker and punk rockers were a bit too much for small town police in Iceland at the time.In the spring of 1983 Kommi joined again as the drummer, and the drum machine was parked. It had not really worked in live situations and there were constant sound problems. So Kommi was warmly welcomed and with this line-up the group played one of its best concerts, warming up for the British group Classix Noveaux in Reykjavík in the spring of 1983. The group then recorded five songs in august 1983. They were not released at the time, and when Árni Daníel quit in august the group also called it quits. It was a time when the steam had run out of the Icelandic punk scene and everbody was rather tired of working hard for very little rewards. The rewards for the scene as a whole were to come later, but for some members of the scene very little reward has ever come.IIIIn 1984-1985 the group Þetta er bara kraftaverk (ÞEBK) continued working on similar post-punk synth music Q4U as had been working with. Ellý and Árni Daníel teamed up with Árni Daníel´s little brother Ingólfur and later Óskar Þórisson joined. This group recorded a few songs as demos, but did not publish anything in its lifetime. Everybody started having families, studying or working.Then in 1996 the group came together again, under the influence of the grunge movement and the interest in punk and post-punk that blossomed at the time. Now it was decided to put together a CD with some of the unreleased material of the group and publish it. This CD, Q2, contained much of the unreleased demos from 1982, a demo from late 1982 with the synth version of the group, the EP from 1983 and the demos from August 1983. There was also one song by ÞEBK on the CD. It was published in 1997 under the name Q2. Q4U followed the publication of the CD up with a number of concerts in 1996-1998 and also with television performances, of which some are available on the YouTube. One of these is with the song Egó, which is otherwise unpublished. The line-up was Gunnþór, Ellý, Árni Daníel, Ingólfur from ÞEBK and a new drummer, Guðmundur Gunnarsson.The group is currently rehearsing again after another 13 years abscence, with two gigs already having taken place in 2010.Released late July, 2011 on Wave Records.Track Listing:01. Böring02. Tiskufrik03. Miracle Man04. Sigurinn05. Onward06. PLO07. Draugasaga08. Barbie09. Breiðabolsstaður10. AMDP11. Skemmtistaður12. Pelagus-FFH13. Family14. Turninn15. Why16. Þjoðlagið17. Ekkert18. Creeps19. Walker20. Plastic Vision21. Romance La Paranoia22. Snjohvit23. Böring (Live)24. Turninn (Live)25. Sigurinn (Live)26. Draugasaga (Live)27. Skemmtistaður (Live)28. Vidreynsla (Live)


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