The Knife: Shaking The Habitual

The Knife's brand new album Shaking The Habitual is a welcome edition to my electronic listening (I featured The Knife on my playlist in December). It is the duo's first studio album since Silent Shout was released in 2006 and moves in a distinctly new direction. The album contains earthy textures; tribal elements, even, with rustic drum sounds and repetitive chant-like phrases. It's motive is LUST.

The first track, A Tooth For An Eye, opens with a light and sparsely-produced samba-esque beat, above which the familier voice of Karin soon enters. The bass builds and a characteristically catchy electronic riff stabilises the song.  Full Of Fire stands out for its central passage that contains a frenzy of beats encasing trapped voices and (what sounds like) other-worldy sounds. One of my favourites from the album is Without You My Life Would Be Boring: the use of rough wooden flute sounds (including with overblown air sounds and flutter tonguing) keeps it appropriately eccentric. And Wrap Your Arms Around Me is intensely and powerfully passionate.

Many of the tracks are nearly ten minutes in length (with the longest being just over nineteen minutes long) and the album in its entirety is a masterpiece. With it the duo have gone into unchartered territory, and are being much more experimental than with the previous records. It is certainly radical. It taps into an avant garde use of sound and a trust in stillness that is rare in electronic music.

According to the artist's themselves, they have taken much of their inspiration from 1970s protest songs and with the album are asking 'what can a protest song be today?'. And like in any genre the right side of 'cool' the album is available in all formats, including 12" LP.

Photo: promotional/Bang On PR

Photo: promotional/Bang On PR

Take some time out to watch the video. With attention to small details, it is brilliant cinematic art.

The Knife on SOUNDCLOUD.



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