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The Knife: A Dark Trip Down The Rabbit Hole

After leaving her mark on 2009 as Fever Ray, Karin Dreijer Andersson has returned to making music with her brother Olof, thus ending the short-lived hiatus of their electronica project The Knife. Released early this year, the mysterious Swedes' remarkably ambitious Tomorrow, In a Year is a 92-minute opera inspired by Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. The set also finds them taking on two Berlin-based collaborators, Mt. Sims and Planningtorock.

The 11-minute "Colouring of Pigeons" takes The Knife's experimental, cerebral side to new heights. Drums dance from one channel to another in an impressive display of panoramic mixing, while Planningtorock's operatic vocals help wrap the instrumentation in a cloak of surrealism. Meanwhile, Andersson's deadpan vocals make eerie references to animals before closing with the refrain, "The delight of once again being home." As the words slink away, so does everything else, leaving the drums behind to indulge in some heady improvisations. After rambling on for more than 10 minutes, "Colouring of Pigeons" ends abruptly on a harsh, string-driven death rattle -- an appropriate end to a dark trip down the rabbit hole.

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Anthony Fantano