The Swedish electronic pop artists ooze originality and have one of the best live shows on the planet - here's proof
Cai Trefor
14:33 14th August 2017

The Knife reformed for their first tour in seven years in 2014 and they expanded from an electronic due to an 11-piece dance troupe - the response was phenomenal. Now you can relive the glorious project with a new live film, live album and a photobook of the inimitable show they played at the New York venue, Terminal 5. Get a taste of what it's about in the clip below.

Even just the minute-long clip shows what spectacular attention to detail went into the costume and the stage art. You can tell that it was phenomenal, and this live show deserves to be immortalized as a film and album.

But it's not like The Knife weren't a beguiling visual force when they were a duo. They were. It's just that their idea had worn thin: "We realized that the masks we used to wear in press photographs as a way to criticize 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," says the press release. "The discussion of purpose and joyfulness started all over again, this time in relation to whether or not to perform the album.”

Luckily, the future of The Knife was kept on. A conversation with curator and friend of the band Kim Einarsson made helped them: "Concerts are boring, but dancing is fun [...] instead of reproducing the stereotypical way of performing electronic music – two people behind a laptop – maybe you should be dancing to it,” he told them.

The resulting dance project took on as much care as they put into their music - and was highly conceptual. The below statement suggesting just how psychedelic The Knife's mind is:

"We started to consider ourselves as an amoeba – a type of single-celled organism that has the ability to alter its shape and that for practical reasons team up with other cells or organisms, no matter how different – and we searched for ways to communicate that feeling to the audience. We quickly came to the conclusion that in order to do so, we would all have to play the roles not only of dancers, but also of singers and musicians, performing as one shifting unity.”

As well as dance, there were bespoke instruments in the show. Designer Bella Rune says they were “created in an attempt to visualize 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...”

If this sounds like your thing, then you'll be pleased to hear the Shaking the Habitual: Live at Terminal 5, will be released by Rabid Records on 1 September as a live film and live album, along with a limited-edition Photo Book documenting the tour. 

More Knife news to follow, we hope. Possibly a live return? Who knows.