Last week, Swedish experimental pop duo The Knife released a deeply flummoxing and obfuscated (confusing) manifesto to promote their upcoming album, Shaking the Habitual. Now, someone cool* has uploaded the whole thing to RapGenius, a website that originally was meant for deciphering hip-hop lyrics but now is used for practically anything. Like, weird stream-of-consciousness rants about hyper-capitalism.
*It wasn't me. I promise.
If you have any idea what's behind lines like "at twilight something blurs over your shoulder" or "It's a walk in the pan pipes of the body," then you can do the rest of us crazed fans a favor and add your own, well-researched interpretations. I've gone ahead and done a few already, but my intuition could be off. Go here to challenge my feeble intellect and fervent fandom.
We do know, according to Pitchfork, Jess Arndt wrote it, not Karin Dreijer Andersson. But the manifesto seems to be an attempt to shake up the habitual (i.e. attack conformity and mainstream thought, I guess) just like their video for "A Tooth for an Eye" aimed to deconstruct images of maleness. Not sure how good a job of that it did, but whatever. It was interesting.
If that's not exciting for you, go back to caring about Mumford and Sons tour dates, you boring loser. Or watch this 10-minute short film for The Knife's newest single "Full of Fire." The Knife's new album, Shaking the Habitual is out April 9.
I also conveniently copy/pasted the whole manifesto for you right here: SOME FEELING IN THE BELLIES OF THE TANKERS WHO PASS US MAKING SAD MANIC BONGS LIKE DRUMS
Everybody is always desiring already imagined things. When we travel between thresholds, people say: "you're hiding." Not everything can be so easily explained.
We have a bellyache, a big stink, a major grouse or two with manufactured knowledge. But how do you build an album about not knowing? Now your voice is in my throat, floating there... Often people take pills for these things. To us the body is no longer psychological. It's certainly not a container, we don't believe in metaphors. Like dog/wolf--there aren't many anymore.
Still at twilight something blurs over your shoulder. Which is it? It's prickly.
Our hair is out.
We have made some decisions. We want to fail more, act without authority. Plus there's something phlegmatic about the world state don't you think? There's a blood system promoting biology as destiny. A series of patriarchies that's a problem to the Nth degree. What about hyper-capitalism, this homicidal class system, the school system that's kaput? Then there are castles everywhere--look at them fake tanning and signing autographs!
At least there's one thing we stand behind. There's still an ecosystem right? And here's this sound system. We dusted it off. Electronic is just one place in the body. We went temporarily acoustic. We made our own instruments. We took an old bedspring, a microphone and: "Stay out here..." Now we're bending our voices to sound like Emily R., who recorded the track on her cellphone speaker.
No habits! There are other ways to do things.
Still sometimes it all seems so bad. Don't worry we won't commit Harakiri, stomach cutting or anything like it. The honor system is corrupt, just another privilege. Like how it's a privilege to make an album, to move freely.
We just have to go faster we mean breakneck we mean "like crazy."
How at 5am that warehouse beat is coming up like sour steam. All over the dance floor we're asking: can this DNA turn into something else? It's not metaphorical. It's explicit. There are surgeries and fantasies and holes sweating through the wall. It's a question about feelings. It's a question about who gets to risk.
But things don't change so easily. There's still Monsanto, fracking and "terminator seeds." Every morning we wake up wondering: who's kicking who on the street corner?
Now we have to start. We choose process over everything else. Letting go of outcomes is another privilege. Keep it lateral. We ask our friends to help.
Together we leave the village and walk down the road. The light starts exercising itself. The old sun is out in his winter jumpsuit doing sit-ups and squat thrusts between the nettles and moldy brush.
10 more! We say to him. Get shaking!
Our walk gets longer. It's a walk in the panpipes of the body. We come to the edge. So much water. The ocean is twice its original size. We take a bunch of surveys. They know everything about us. We don't buy what they say. We take a heap of estrogen. All around us things are howling and then we stand on the pier end. The light is pink and green and pink and green. It reminds us of home--like we imagine it could be. But when the color pancakes out over the horizon, we don't know what we're looking at. That's ok. This time it's structural.
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Of course we're growing restless.