Listen to Funkþátturinn live on X-ið FM 97.7, Thursday nights at 23:00 GMT / Icelandic time.
Funkþátturinn has a special history. Let’s start with the name. It’s Icelandic for “The Funk Show”. Which it really isn’t. Not anymore.
The show went on air in November 1993, the same week the radio station it resides on, X-ið FM97.7, started broadcasting. One guy from the founding crew, Þossi, wanted to play some funk records, so he started a funk show. The show slowly morphed towards it’s current form as he progressed from funk music to the music it inspired, and the music that so often sampled from funk music, Trip-Hop and Big Beat. In the 90s music that broke the mold a bit in the world of House and Techno was categorised as “leftfield”, and while the show doesn’t strive to be exclusively on the edge, it’s comfortably free from alegiance to any particular genres. Which is nice, if you’re the host.
Þossi left the station around the turn of the milennium, having put the show in the hands of Baldur Ingi Baldursson, better known on air as Don Balli Funk. In the mid-aughts Terrordisco (known as Sveinbjörn Pálsson to his mother) joined, and in 2011 Símon FKNHNDSM hopped on board, while Terrordisco lived abroad for a stint. Balli left around 2015, the current hosts are Símon and Terrordisco.
The format is fairly freewheeling, mostly it’s a music show, mixing new releases and things the hosts are discovering, with an emphasis on covering icelandic electronic music.
Occasionally the show does longform interviews with producers, notably a string of deep-dive conversations with GusGus around every album relase for a decade and a half, and in-depth conversations with other Icelandic producers of note.
It hosted a very popular live-broadcast concert series at Reykjavík venue BOSTON for over a year, presenting a string of young artists including Vök and Introbeatz.
The show also covers noteable events of the week, with sporadic live broadcasts, and delves into the technologies of making electronic music and DJing, from time to time.