100 Greatest Songs of the 90’s #35 GugGus – Believe (16B Remix)

Released : 1996

For a while the rest of the world had trouble getting it’s mind around how the Icelandic arts scene worked; GusGus began as a collective from Reykjavik who made films before diverting into music and briefly counted Emiliana Torrini amongst their members. Never orthodox, their work was a boundary free melting pot of techno, trip-hop, electronica and the Avant-garde.

Omid Nourizadeh (AKA 16B, amongst many other handles) was a musical polymath, learning a wide range of instruments at his London school and subsequently fronting his own rock band. By the mid-90’s however – with boys playing guitars at their most popular – he set up the club-orientated Alola label after rapidly establishing himself as an in-demand DJ/Producer endorsed by magus such as Derrick Carter and Sasha.

As a result the Icelanders would allow both LFO and him to interpret Believe. The original was a smudgy blast of distorted, rhythmic art-pop, to all intents an ugly tune. Nourizadeh happily gutted it, melded in phrases from a different track on it’s host album Polydistortion and then added touches of other worldly magic of his own. The result was the archetypal different song, one made for watching the Northern Lights to and as naturally high as the Aurora themselves.