Release Review – “Shaking The Habitual”, The Knife, Album, out now.

Sweden has never been short of enigmatic artists. From Henrik Ibsen, to Agnetha Fältskog, through to Sarah Lund’s thought provoking sweaters, the country has long provided a home to those with a penchant for puzzlement. In the form of multi-award winning act The Knife however, the Scandinavian’s seem to have truly surpassed themselves.
The band, comprised of siblings Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Bjorn Dreijer, are renowned for their contemptuous relationship with both the media and the music industry alike. Nominations at a number of prestigious award ceremonies have seen the duo employ a variety of tactics in an effort to subvert commonly held perceptions on the nature of celebrity, an exercise very much in keeping with their anti-commercial philosophy, and from the use of Venetian masks to the deployment of manipulated video imagery, The Knife’s seeming desire for anonymity has, ironically, helped to fuel fervent interest regarding the reclusive pair.
However, beneath all the subterfuge and second guesses, at the heart of this unerring interest lies their ability to create original and unique music on an epic, sweeping scale. Following on from 2006’s highly rate ‘Silent Shout’, the new studio album ‘Shaking the Habitual’ sees the brother/sister duo once more ready to entice both audience and industry alike, with a two disc collection of tracks destined to put their music, rather than their politics, once more at centre stage.
The haunted, rambling distorted synth-trumental of ‘A Cherry On Top’ showcases the pair’s Lynchian influences to a fine degree, whilst the deranged organisation of ‘My Life Without You Would Be Boring’ brings to mind the spirit of a young Bjork, albeit fed through some kind of Japanoramic filter, if such a thing were to exist. And judging from this albums constant ability to create new, unusual and original sounds, who’s to say it doesn’t?
7/10, out now, Ed Kirby
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