Wednesday 3 July 2019
Part David Lynch nightmare, part gothic S&M dress-up, part industrial love letter

Hatari needs to be seen to be believed.

Wildly deranged synth-punk S&M art-school automatons Hatari put Iceland back on the map and made everybody talk about what-on-earth is going on up there.

The reason? Their song “Hatrið mun sigra” (translates to ‘Hate Will Prevail”). Hatari participated in Eurovision in Iceland – but who would have thought that general aggression, pulsating synths, extravagant dance routines, dead-eyed dancers, a masked drummer battering the tops of two glass cages with a giant mallet, and a dude on a leash would win the Icelandic people’s favour?

At the same time, the band has made Iceland’s social conservatives collectively wring their hands over what this all means for Icelandic culture.

Hatari is a perfect wedding of aesthetic, graphics and music. Mesmerising video elements visualise the graphic lyrics being spouted aggressively by Matthías Tryggvi Haraldsson and sung wistfully by Klemens Hannigan – the two show off a master-and-slave relationship. Their cyber-punk BDSM attire goes hand in hand with the apocalyptic nihilistic message about consumerist ethics which asks (from the song “Ódýr”): “Why did I sell myself… so cheaply?” On top of this intellectual stimulation and performance art, Hatari’s hypnotising and intense industrial/synth-punk sounds excellent.

Hatari has been called “the most compelling band in Iceland right now”. Rightfully so. They have been so for a while – and they convinced us way before their Eurovision participation. Don’t miss them at Roskilde Festival 2019!