Gus Gus Gets Airtime

Reykjavík-based electro act Gus Gus has found a novel way of getting airtime by having its new album premiered by national airline Icelandair.

The carrier’s website says it’s teamed with DJ Margeir to revamp its in-flight entertainment, which will include the act’s Arabian Horse album premiering a month before its general release. It’s believed to be the first time a record premieres onboard an aircraft.

“I want people to listen to this music and have a different experience … I want them to put on their headphones and for the music to inspire them somehow, to expand their musical horizons,” Margeir explained.

His revamp of Icelandair’s in-flight entertainment system has involved him selecting 40 albums and creating seven unique playlists comprising the most exciting Icelandic and international music.

The other highlights on his playlist include Hjalmar, Arvo Part, Ligeti, Gorecki, Caribou, Four Tet, James Blake, Beach House, Neu!, Nicolas Jaar, John Coltrane, Trentemoller, Bjork and Sigur Ros.

Icelandair’s musical revamp is part of its broader philosophy to maximise the experience for customers, giving them a taste of Iceland even if they travel no further than Reykjavík’s Keflavík Airport.

The broader philosophy of maximising the travel experience is a sort of charm offensive designed to show there’s more to the tiny north Atlantic island than collapsing financial institutions and clouds of volcanic ash.

The idea with the music is that customers can choose from any playlist and listen to a carefully composed mix without making any effort, or they can select individual tunes or albums using their touch screen menu. The playlists will be changed every three months.

Arabian Horse is due for official release May 23. Gus Gus has sold more than 700,000 albums worldwide.