The Knife

Shaking the Habitual

Brille • 2013

Good idea: The Knife are releasing their fourth record. Bad idea: They give the listener one big finger of 20 minutes with »Old Dreams Waiting To Be Realized« on that very record. But who would have actually expected anything different from Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer? They put the success of their single »Heartbeats« into perspective again with the Dreijer-Anderssons-project Fever Ray and the record »Tomorrow, In A Year«. It’s never easy with the Knife. »Shaking the Habitual« comes along as a 2 CD set, which keeps poking into something seemingly aimless. While »Raging Lung« starts out as tame as a kitten, the rhythm totally unravels at the end. The duo from Sweden mixes drone, synths, wild pieces of pop and techno together with house, and then move it all into their very own cosmos. »Stay Out Here« rejects any kind of direction, while Karin Dreijer Andersson spooks through the dissonant track. When finally a digestible beat sets in at the very end, it’s only to raise our hopes, to give us some sweets, before the next absurd idea gets lost in the atmosphere of »Shaking the Habitual«. It’s an atmosphere, in which »Old Dreams Waiting To Be Realized« actually makes all the sense in the world. The only problem is that nothing is inviting on this juggernaut of a record. Under all the ugliness and vague song-ideas, there are actual tracks hiding, giving the listener a vague idea about the meaning of this record. All in all, »Shaking the Habitual« misses a track that allows openness or just some kind of direction. Apparently, The Knife thought that to be a bad idea. For whatever reason.