Matthew Garrison and Peter Erskine Join Icelandic Jazz Outfit Jack Magnet Science

The Transatlantic “super group” led by keyboardist Jakob Magnusson features jazz fusion titans Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Steps Ahead) and Matthew Garrison & Renowned Icelandic Musicians

Matthew Garrison and Peter Erskine Join Icelandic Jazz Outfit Jack Magnet Science

The Transatlantic “super group” led by keyboardist Jakob Magnusson features jazz fusion titans Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Steps Ahead) and Matthew Garrison & Renowned Icelandic Musicians

Jakob Magnússon has lived many lives that are a confluence of extraordinary musical talent, TV & film production work, environmental activism, and even a stint as the cultural attaché of the Icelandic embassy in London. His new musical project, Jack Magnet Science, is the latest endeavor in his rolodex of multi-hyphenism. The project is an amalgamation of members of the prolific Icelandic band Stuðmenn, which he co-founded, and top-call US-based jazz titans such as Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Steps Ahead) and Matthew Garrison (Shapeshifter, The Zawinul Syndicate). The future-forward ensemble has released their debut album Future Forecast available now digitally and via Floki Studios. Physical products will be available on July 19, 2024.

The creation of Future Forecast spurred from three days of improvisation from a session convening at Floki Studios, located in a remote area of Northern Iceland in autumn 2022. The group decided to operate off the simplest yet somewhat risky premise: Let’s play and see what happens. The fruits of their labor culminated into hours of music split over 72 tracks that provided the basis for 7 brand new songs, each detailing a sonic exploration of its own.

The lead track “Wild Card” offers the first taste of what’s to come on Future Forecast—a double entendre nodding to the band’s admiration for Magnússon’s fascinating environmental work background that includes developing a weather control device with British scientists that has been successfully used for years at various musical festivals. Formed out of an initial groove of Garrison’s sauntering bass line and Erskine’s effortlessly commanding drums joined by percussionists Siggi Baldursson (formerly of The Sugarcubes) and Einar Scheving; Magnusson and fellow keyboardist Eythor Gunnarsson (Mezzoforte co-founder) remained laid back and inserted some impactful melodic and harmonic concepts as they organically served the music in “Wild Card.” The influence the Icelandic and American musicians had on one another instilled a mutual sense of admiration as Erskine remarked on how extremely tastefully the Icelandic keyboardists played and then later sang lead vocalist Ragga big praises, remarking on how her phrasing reminded him of Wayne Shorter and that it was the most pleasurable experience he had ever had working with a female vocalist.

“ITSYAMO” introduces listeners to landscapes of a faraway imaginary land of peace and prosperity. It was the only chart-based piece on the album, unlike the other six tracks which were mostly improvised creations. Disa created the vocal lines culminating in the exotic word ITSYAMO, the natural title of the soundtrack of dream-like textures. “Dreams of Delphi” was created by Peter Erskine introducing the ensemble to a favorite groove of his, combining exotic reggae with joyful samba beats. The world’s current aggressions provide the undercurrents of “ReAct!” adding some high technological references to the rocky musical landscape. The track´s high energy levels reflect a sense of urgency that we may all be currently sensing while hoping for and meditating on a perfectly peaceful future.

“None of us had ever witnessed or been a part of something like this before,” Magnússon reflects now, still in awe at the effect Flóki had on this group, “A new band that mixed very old friends with strangers. In the serenity and remoteness of northern Iceland, the music just came to us and things kept intuitively flowing. There were a few charts on hand as a starting point but those were soon abandoned – except one. Someone would call out a chord or figure and off they went. We all had open minds, determined to just allow new adventures to happen.

At the same time, given Magnússon’s conservationist background and the settings in which the music was made, it’s hard not to read a double meaning — as if Future Forecast depicts a fate less disastrous than the one the world currently faces. “We wanted to make an album that would sound like one could imagine inventive new music sounding in the future,” Magnússon continues, “Using modern technology, no cliches allowed, no preconceived ideas” he says.

“Once the key grooves and moods had been created, we started editing for months. Then began the actual construction work while continuing with overdubs until we were all happy. Then we sent the tracks for mixing by Daniel Goodwyn in New York. The album was finally mastered in Los Angeles by none other than maestro “synth kingpin” Scott Kinsey.

What began as a one-off gathering does not end here. Magnússon has ambitions to tour with the group and continue to comb through the session tracks to see what other tracks can come of it and coordinate subsequent sessions in the future.

Aside from plans to tour and record more, each member of Jack Magnet Science recounts a transformative experience at Floki Studios that rekindled their love for making music, “This musical experience reignited my passion for creating and recording new music,” reflected Erskine on a radio interview shortly after the sessions.

That is the sound of Future Forecast—a way forward, without boundaries, suddenly aware of how many more possibilities await.

Future Forecast is now available on all platforms worldwide via Floki Studios with digital products available on July 19th. The release aligns with the group’s live debut at Reykjavik’s Harpa Concert Hall. Jack Magnet Science happen to be one of the key musical attractions at this year’s highly regarded Reykjavik Art Festival along with Jacob Collier.

(Tickets can be purchased on

Bass Magazine   By: Bass Magazine