"A scary beauty." - Evening Standard (4/5)
"Piramida hides intriguing depths." - Mojo (4/5)
"A noble, self-possessed creation; a masterclass in considered arrangement." - FACT (4/5)
"Piramida reveals Efterklang as serious contenders." - The Sunday Times - CD of the Week
"Here's a band on top of the world, and on top of their game… Piramida is a revelation." - Q (4/5)
"Potent and symphonic… this is much more than a postcard from a ghost town." - Time Out (4/5)
Efterklang's latest album Piramida was released through 4AD on 25th September. Their fourth album in total, it's a fitting document of a progressively-minded band pushing the boundaries of their own distinctive sound and creating something lush, inventive and unique.
As is common with Efterklang's approach to music, the making of Piramida started out in unusual fashion in August 2011, when the members of the band (Mads Brauer, Casper Clausen and Rasmus Stolberg) went on a nine-day audio expedition to an abandoned Russian settlement in Spitsbergen, an Arctic island located just shy of the North Pole. Spitsbergen is home to more polar bears than people and also to the ghost town of Piramida, which was abandoned overnight in the 90s, and today stands as a slowly decaying ruin.
When the band returned home, they had accumulated just over 1,000 field recordings from the many and varied environments they explored in Piramida. Then the time came to transform these audio snapshots of abandonment, of isolation touched by unique beauty, into songs.
A less-densely layered collection than the electronic-hued Parades, and more direct than Magic Chairs, Piramida was a rare example of a conceptually strong project that never forgets to let the concept serve the song, rather than the other way around. It's a streamlined sound, but distinct and absorbing too. It showcases a band superbly capable of transitioning experiences shared by a select few into music that can be enjoyed by a wide, open-minded audience.
Back as early as May, Efterklang made their Australian live debut at the Sydney Opera House to premiere the new album. Playing alongside the Sydney Symphony, and featuring the legendary Budgie (Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Creatures) on drums, the band played the album in its entirety. It was a grand and ambitious performance, setting a precedent for the live shows they were to play throughout the rest of the year.
'Apples', the second song to be taken from Efterklang's fourth album, Piramida and was premiered via the Huffington Post with a video created and directed by Hvass&Hannibal in collaboration with Oodls (Jakob Jakob Steen & Christoffer Frandsen). It was the first time ever that Mads, Casper and Rasmus of Efterklang make an appearance in an Efterklang music video.
Following the release of the album, Efterklang added another string to their bow with The Ghost Of Piramida, a film by Danish director Andreas Koefoed, that documents the Danish trio's visit to the former Russian mining town. The Ghost Of Piramida premiered in November at IDFA in Amsterdam and CPH:DOX in Copenhagen - two of the world's most renowned documentary film festivals, and was nominated in the Best Music Documentary category at both festivals.