Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and Sigur Rós, Englar Alheimsins (Krúnk): Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson's soundtrack to the Icelandic film "Englar Alheimsins" ("Angels of the Universe") makes a fitting companion piece to Björk's Selmasongs, harnessing darkly flowing strings to create an appropriately cinematic atmosphere of longing and regret. Hilmarsson's score gets most interesting when bastard influences flit into the mix — like the flickering percussion of "Yfirum," the feedback washes of "Litbri>i" and the digital gurgles that close out "Bakslag" — and the density of the strings breaks up into something less stultifying. But the real attraction for most listeners here will be the two songs contributed by Iceland's post-rock darlings Sigur Rós. Recorded for FatCat's "Ny Batterí" single (a title that always conjures Master of Puppets-era Metallica for me, no matter how incongruous the reference), both tracks are well known to the band's countrymen: "Bíum Bíum Bambaló" is an old Icelandic lullaby, while "Dánarfregnir og Jar>arfarir" is the culture's classic marche funébre. Those tracks open up yawning chasms of yearning as only these northern sculptors of feedback can. I don't know what Iceland is like, aside from scenes from films, but Sigur Rós inhabit a land of wasted beauty and blasted desire. It may well be a world of their own making, but it's one I'm happy to visit, whatever the season. — Philip Sherburne

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