Sadly, the duo’s cryptic teasers aren’t leading up to new music – but they are issuing a film, live album and book of their last album Shaking the Habitual
Sadly, all those cryptic teasers that The Knife have been sharing this week haven’t been building up towards new music – but the Swedish electro-pop duo will be releasing three things to tie up the loose ends of their last album, 2013’s Shaking the Habitual.
Shaking the Habitual: Live at Terminal 5 is a concert film, live album, and photo book that documents The Knife’s expansion from a duo (made up of Karin and Olof Dreijer) into an 11-piece dance troupe. For the Shaking the Habitual tour, the band questioned the nature of electronic music performances – instead of playing a conventional series of live shows, the band danced on-stage to backing tracks while pretending to play bespoke instruments created by designer Bella Rune.
As Rune explains in a press release, the instruments were “created in an attempt to visualise some of the sounds on the album to challenge expected conventions in electronic music. To me, the instruments are what the album would look like if it took corporeal form...”
The final leg of the tour was captured by photographer Alexa Vachon, whose portraits of the band will be turned into a photo book. Additionally, Rune’s instruments will be auctioned off starting from August 30, with the proceeds going to the No One Is Illegal network, a charity that supports people who are forced to live undocumented if they’ve had their aslyum applications refused. There will be a screening of the film at the Bio Rio Cinema in Stockholm on August 30.
The band add: “In the process of making Shaking The Habitual, we realised that it was time for us to question the concept of The Knife in a wider sense. Or, rather, we wanted to challenge the idea of The Knife that had been created somehow. We needed to find a way to do and be what we wanted, taking the commercial dimension of The Knife into account only to be able to find ways to exist outside of it.”
“For instance,” they continue, “we realised that the masks we used to wear in press photographs as a way to criticise the media’s obsession with the individuals behind the music had started to be seen as the opposite: as our brand or trademark, and as something mystical. The discussion of purpose and joyfulness started all over again, this time in relation to whether or not to perform the album.”
Strangely, the album will be a hard one to listen to for many of The Knife’s fans. As they explain in a statement, it will not be released in the UK/Eire, USA/Canada, and Asia & South/Latin America territories due to a dispute with their label partner.
The Knife announced their split in 2014, telling Dazed in their ‘final’ interview: “We will close down, it’s our last tour. We don’t have any obligations to continue.” Speaking to Pitchfork today (August 14) to discuss the concert film, the band didn’t rule out new music entirely, with Olof Dreijer insisting that, “The Knife is one of our projects that we work with, and when we feel like it, we make music... (There are currently no plans to make music as The Knife), but we never know.”
Watch a trailer for the film (due out September 1) below.