Jóhann Jóhannsson first released Fordlândia back in 2008, a time when the Icelandic artist was beginning to build up a head of steam in the world of contemporary classical composition. As his star rose in the subsequent decade that led up to his death, Fordlândia remained an enduring touchstone for Jóhannsson’s work, a synthesis of strings and electronic instruments that got to the core of the composer’s ineffable musical voice.
There is plenty of sturm und drang to Fordlândia’s longest entries. Cuts like the title-track and ‘How We Left Fordlândia’ combine the old and the new with aplomb - while there is plenty of Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams to the noble, swooping string work, Jóhannsson’s inclusion of droning organs and chiming electric guitar place these compositions firmly in the present day. They dovetail with what other artists from Jóhannsson’s Icelandic school were doing at the time - Hildur Guðnadóttir, Amiina - but are conceived to a scale that only he would attempt.
Fordlândia received its first vinyl pressing as a limited run on Jóhannsson’s own NTOV imprint back in 2013. Now Fordlândia returns to its first home of 4AD for a gatefold edition that comes bolstered with a new sleeve design and mastering job.
A vital piece of the late Jóhann Jóhannsson’s oeuvre, Fordlândia now gets a new lease of life through 4AD.