SlaraffenKLANG - Prinser & Vikinger Live At The Royal Danish Playhouse - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

SlaraffenKLANG - Prinser & Vikinger Live At The Royal Danish Playhouse

by Pete Sykes Rating:8 Release Date:2010-05-27

What a peculiar little EP this is. After the distinctly lukewarm reception that their latest album and 4AD debut Magic Chairs received, Danish post-rockers Efterklang have chosen to put out not a conventional single but a collaboration with compatriots Slaraffenland, available for free download. The tracks on Prinser & Vikinger Live at the Royal Danish Playhouse were, as you might expect, recorded live at the Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen, with both bands combining forces as SlaraffenKLANG. But not only have they pooled their talents, they've also mashed up their songs. So lead track 'Miragone' is a mixture of Efterklang's 'Mirador', from Parades, and Slaraffenland's 'Long Gone', from We're On Your Side. Got that? Tracks two and three, meanwhile, see Slaraffenland covering Efterklang's 'Cutting Ice to Snow' and Eftertklang covering Slaraffenland's 'Postcard'. Confused? Soundblab was, but he is easily confused. It's a fascinating concept for an EP, and many many times more interesting than simply digging out a track from your last album and shoving a few b-sides out along with it.

As those familiar with these two bands might expect, the results are utterly captivating. 'Miragone' begins with a gorgeous piano line before the huge soundscapes of 'Mirador' are intercut with 'Long Gone's bewitching melancholia. 'Falling Mirror' (a compound of Slaraffenland's 'Falling Out' and Efterklang's 'Mirror Mirror') is exquisitely downbeat ("There's no way we will make it back") until it abruptly shifts into a major key and we are back in familiarly epic singalong territory. On the covers, Slaraffenland give the gorgeous 'Cutting Ice to Snow' renewed purpose, introducing pounding drums, an insistent bassline and off-kilter harmonies to remarkable effect. Efterklang, meanwhile, slow-down and stretch out Slaraffenland's jaunty 'Postcard', creating something altogether more electrifying. Neither of the bands write conventional songs, so it's perhaps easier to play with them and mix them up than with three-minute pop songs, but Prinser & Vikinger is still an admirable achievement, and much more than just a curio for hardcore fans. Against the odds, the sum of two intriguing bands is greater than its parts.

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