For a lot of music fans, a very very exciting thing happened on December 12 of last year. It was on December 12 (12/12/12), that a mysterious video appeared announcing a new album from the Swedish experimental electronic pioneers The Knife.
Composed of siblings Karin Dreijer Andersson (better known by her Fever Ray persona) and Olof Dreijer, The Knife have captivated music lovers with their incredibly intense ambient dance music. While casual fans may be familiar with The Knife through the acoustic cover of Jose Gonzales of their mega-hit Heartbeats , I can say with full conviction that nothing compares to The Knife‘s original tunes.
It has been a long seven full years since The Knife released a proper long form record (2004’s Silent Shout), so needless to say, anticipation was at an all-time high when the teaser video announcing the new record Shaking the Habitual hit.
It must be said right now, for one of the most anticipated records of this year, Shaking the Habitual is also going to be one of the year’s strangest and more divisive. If you weren’t a fan of The Knife before, Shaking the Habitual would not be the album to start listening to them. This is The Knife at their most experimental and their most craziest and weirdest. And I think I love them for that.
A lengthy record, Shaking the Habitual runs almost a hundred minutes with tracks ranging from around 40 seconds (Oryx) to almost twenty minutes (Old Dreams Waiting to Be Realized). Five of the thirteen tracks are purely instrumental and the longest ones, Old Dreams and Fracking Fluid Injection are fully ambient noise. These will be the most divisive tracks as impatient listeners will write them off as 10 minutes of weirdness and nothing. I never felt that way though. It is in these long ambient tracks where I felt fully absorbed within the record. And when combined with the more powerful hard-hitting tracks like the amazing Full of Fire and the Shannon Fuchess-aided Stay out of Here, it all makes for a mind-bending and heart-racing listening experience. By committing to producing a non-traditional sound, The Knife have crafted one of the rawest, most primal albums this year. And I felt every minute of it.
Watch the NSFW-sih video for the after-mentioned amazing first single Full Of Fire embedded below.
The Knife – Shaking the Habitual comes out 4/9 via Rabid Records (order here)