By Ed Chamberlin

There are a lot of interesting things happening in Denmark right now music-wise: Under Byen are creating some shocking sensual stuff with their moody trip-hop waltz, Skyphone have found a mid-point between the wistful dramatic electronic music of their northern Scandinavian neighbours and the rigid Germanic laptop music to the south and Diefenbach's unlikely compromise between rigid post-rock angularity and The Beach Boys is a joy to hear. It is as if a collective guilt has kicked in amongst the people of the country that delivered the world the three-punch-combo of room-fleeingly bad music made by Whigfield, Aqua and Junior/Senior and are hurriedly making amends. And so they might...

Happily they are being more than successful, and Efterklang can add themselves to the roster of Danish bands that combine sophistication with emotion. Tripper is their second album following Springer from 2003. Perhaps their next release will be called Slapper.

Efterklang certainly aren't shy about making grand gestures: Greenlandic choirs, string and horn section and operatic solos abound here. Yet the core of their sound lies in the insect-like static rhythms that somehow dominate the more grandiose instrumentation. Step Aside truly rushes along on a complex lattice of Oval-style CD skips and jerks as a male/female vocal duo croon to one another and an orchestra heaves and sighs behind them. Swarming displays some clever rhythmic and melodic tricks while Prey And Predator and Collecting Shields, the standout pieces here, build to climaxes that will have Godspeed members running away with their tails between their legs.

Múm are their obvious musical contemporaries, yet while the Icelandic outfit revel in their cutest and intimacy, Efterklang aim for something larger and more explosive. Elements of minimalism, contemporary classical, electronica and pop are evident throughout, yet they are reconfigured into something with a completely different emotional impact. A very promising debut full-length.
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