The Knife are no longer interested in working from the inside-out to dismantle the system; they’re not interested in three minute subversive pop music as a way to open minds. The master’s tools, the master’s house, etc. They’ve instead established a base camp on the fringes of all we hold dear and are bombarding conventions of art, gender, and economy with musical weapons that defy comprehension. As Karin sings on the album’s closing moment, probably the only traditionally defined “song” on the album, “Ready To Lose:” “I’m ready to lose a privilege.”
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It wasn’t simply Muhly’s dark neoclassical chamber mania nor Steven’s processed playful brand of vocals but a nebulous mingling of their work that was as human as it was extraterrestrial. With themes ranging from the plight of Roman gods to romps at Methodist summer camp, the three brought together the otherworldly and unknown to create something deeply personal and mythic. And I loved every minute of it.
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“I don’t really think so much about music when I make music,” Pusti has said. “I think about scenes and tones.” And that’s a sentiment which seems to permeate throughout all his work, evoking the feeling of being transported inside a very cinematic moment rife with texture, atmosphere, and taste. MAVS’ synth-fueled sonic worlds feel like the haunting soundtrack to your favorite 80s sci-fi midnight movie that never was, glowing with pulsating beats like a shot of adrenaline, blasting you off into some dystopian world of the future with its swirling soundscapes.
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Yeah, I’ll make this a really succinct answer for you, this is absolutely how I feel and what I think: Pete Seeger once said, “I have no hope but I could be wrong.” Well, I have no hope and I pray that I’m wrong. That’s what I’m trying to get across in the record but it’s really true. You look around this world and it’s a wonder how the hell we all are still here, everyone is out to get you. It all went to hell in a damn hand basket and I’m just looking around trying to make the apocalypse look a little bit more kodachrome. I’m trying to give the death rattle a dance beat. That’s it.
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