This explosion of electronica and polyrhythmic drumming shows a side of Swedish music we’ve been missing the past few years. Fever Ray is the latest project of Karin Dreijer Andersson, and it shows a methodical and thoughtful approach to composing. The foundation of their music lies in a deep appreciation of the complex drumming they first learned about in documentaries on Darkest Africa. Now that drum sound has morphed into a sort of new age spiritualism — the act of drumming demands great energy and focus, and might be considered a mantra to focus the mind on the here and now, leaving things like health care reform and Somali pirates to those more skilled in politics than our inner spirit life. As the complex beats seep into your brain, the next focal point becomes the sonorous droning vocals. It’s in English, but feels slowed down and hypnotic, the sort of music you might hear when the drugs are kicking in after the bad guys dope the hero in a cheap adventure flick. The result is moody and surreal, painting a backdrop for either a session of complete inner focus or as a backdrop to washing the dishes and tidying up the house for the next week’s slice of urban life. Both are really the same on some level.
Mute Records: www.mute.com