Hailing from Reykjavík, Iceland and founded in 1999, Apparat Organ Quartet is a band that originally included the musicians Hörður Bragason, Músikvatur, Úlfur Eldjárn and Jóhann Jóhannsson. They were soon joined by drummer Þorvaldur Gröndal, replaced in 2001 by Arnar Geir Ómarsson, drummer of the Icelandic rock band HAM. Lacking the time to dedicate himself to the group because of his solo projects, Jóhann Jóhannsson left the band in 2012.
The band was originally conceived by Jóhann Jóhannsson as a collaborative project for a concert series curated by Kitchen Motors, a record label and art collective founded by Jóhannsson, Hilmar Jensson and Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir.
The band's sound has evolved from the atmospheric and minimalistic post-rock documented on the Kitchen Motors compilations "Nart Nibbles" and "Motorlab 2" to a more robust, riff-driven sound, with a mixture of Kraftwerk-inspired electronics, Daft Punk-like robot voices, and hard rock beats. They have been compared to such different acts as Kraftwerk, Wagner, Goblin, Terry Reilly, Steve Reich, Sigur Rós, the Glitter Band, Stereolab and Trans Am.
Apparat Organ Quartet's members (and former members) and their extra curricular activities include:
- Arnar Geir Ómarsson, a graphic designer who has worked with Magga Stina, HAM, Lhooq and many others artists.
- Hörður Bragason, a former church organist.
- Jóhann Jóhannsson, who has had a solo career as a genre-crossing composer.
- Músikvatur, who has collaborated with múm and has released several solo singles.
- Úlfur Eldjárn, who has composed a lot of music for theatre and TV series.
- Þorvaldur Gröndal, who has been the drummer of electronic-pop/rock band Trabant and The Funerals
AOQ were one of many Icelandic bands documented in Ari Alexander Ergis Magnússon's 2005 film Screaming Masterpiece (Gargandi Snilld in Icelandic).