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1 review »Oh gawd, look what I’ve landed on the review carousel today. None other than the welcome return of mysterious Swedish avant-techno-synth-poppers The Knife, a whopping seven years (is it really that long? I feel old) after their previous effort ‘Silent Shout’. Now I like The Knife as much as the next person (more, if said next person isn’t keen) but it’s a four-day wee ... »

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REVIEWS

Shaking The Habitual by The Knife
1 review. Add your own review.
29 people love this record. Be the 30th!
9/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 04 April 2013

Oh gawd, look what I’ve landed on the review carousel today. None other than the welcome return of mysterious Swedish avant-techno-synth-poppers The Knife, a whopping seven years (is it really that long? I feel old) after their previous effort ‘Silent Shout’. Now I like The Knife as much as the next person (more, if said next person isn’t keen) but it’s a four-day week and this album is roughly one day long so writing any kind of comprehensive, in depth review is impossible.

With that disclaimer out of the way, my first impressions are very positive. This is an epic, in some ways definitive overview of their sprawling, alien darkpop aesthetic, veering from frosty, minimal Germanic techno to weird little organic instrumental vignettes, twisted electropop, and even some lengthy passages of dark ambient drift (the 19-minute creak-a-thon ‘Old Dreams Waiting To Be Realized’ brings to mind the likes of Coil, Deathprod and Decimus, although its presence slap in the middle of the album does kill the momentum a little, or act as a recess between the more electropop-heavy first half and techno-heavy second half depending on how you want to look at it).

To simply pigeonhole it as a dance or technopop album would be to massively underestimate the scope of this record just as much as it would be to call Swans’ ‘The Seer’ merely a rock album. It’s more than that, it’s a grandiose musical statement. Opener ‘A Tooth For An Eye’ is a skewed and ambitious slice of mercurial outsider pop that sounds a little like the most recent Animal Collective album would have if they had exercised a little restraint, while the ten-minute ‘Raging Lung’ is all woozy flickering beats, wibbling synths and pitch-bent, slightly distorted vocals which melt together to create this incredible late night synthscape, reminding me of the chilled and patient approach they took for much of ‘Silent Shout’ - widescreen and tasteful, taking in techno, house and europop ideas and shaking them around in their sensuous, otherworldly and inimitable style.

After an absence of seven years you’d hope for something a bit special, and The Knife deliver here. There’s plenty of their trademark alien pop but over the course of nearly two hours they’re able to stretch the boundaries of their aesthetic and plough forward into uncharted territory. I’m looking forward to having some quality time with it and trying to get my head around it a bit more!


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