BlackPlastic recently got back from a trip to Iceland and long time readers may be aware of the secret crush BlackPlastic harbours for it as a country. Not only is the landscape stunningly beautiful and unlike anything else you can find on earth but they can also write a good tune, despite only having a population of approximately just 320,000.
And if you have ever been to Iceland you just might know that the record store (and independant label) 12 Tónar (danger Will Robinson, some of the site is in Icelandic) is the best place to find said tunes. In all honesty, this is BlackPlastic's favourite place in the world to buy records - up there with Rough Trade East and Foyles' Jazz Café. Nowhere else is as friendly - give them an idea of your tastes and the staff will select a handful of discs, give you a CD player and some headphones and make you an espresso (for gratis) whilst you explore.
And it's a win-win approach - 12 Tónar get the sales and BlackPlastic gets obscure Icelandic music.
BlackPlastic will endeavour to cover most of what was bought over the next few weeks but first up is FM Belfast's début, How To Make Friends. This is a bonus for you, dear reader, because How To Make Friends is a wonderfully quirky, accessible and creative record, sounding like a blend of fellow Icelanders GusGus' more off-the-wall side meets the pure hooks of Muscles with a bit of the 'nothing is sacred' loose summer Hip-Hop vibes of the Go! Team.
It's a winning formula and so 'Pump' is as cheeky and laid-back as 'Par Avion' is summery, excitable and effervescent (very). Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name' gets a low-slung funk make over on 'Lotus' and trust us, the lyrics "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me" pack bags more attitude here.
The whole record is a lush soundtrack to summer that is timed beautifully so that it is never in any danger of outstaying its welcome.
Available at Amazon.co.uk on MP3.