Few are more adept at creating sounds from the more far flung corners of the musical spectrum than Danes Efterklang, and with their fourth studio release even they seem to surpass their own sonic explorations.
Coming to fruition in 2010 as a response to photographs of the forgotten island Spitsbergen (of the Svalbard archipelago), and to the settlement to which it owes its name, Pirimida is a concept album; a reflection on these lost people and their land.
As such the selection of noises emanating over the ten tracks are formed from an audio jigsaw of some thousand field recordings taken at Pirimida itself. Once a mining town before its abandonment in 1998 Efterklang perfectly capture this ghost town, employing the sound of its relics left behind to portray a scene of beauty and mystery.
A grand piano standing alone in a concert hall utters its first notes in over a decade, while 'Sedna's notes are borne of the striking of a fuel tank. In other places the lapping of waves can be heard, ornate lamps make melody ('Told to be Fine') and horns build to a celestial crescendo ('The Living Layer'). It is in these transformations of found sounds to form new instrumentation that the three piece (alongside regular contributors Peter Broderick and Nils Frahm) take the industrial tone to somewhere between the eerie and the angelic.
Musically this album is more reined in than predecessor Magic Chairs, for its careful construction of a fragile soundscape. From the laptop electronics of Tripper to Pirimida, whose electronica is created entirely from the canvas the settlement left behind, Efterklang have again accomplished something life affirming in its subtlety of beauty.