This morning's commute to work was made infinitely more exciting by listening to The Knife's Full of Fire. It's the first track to appear from their whopping new album, Shaking The Habitual, not due for another two months. In the meantime, this will do very nicely.
As you can see up yonder, Full Of Fire clocks in at 9:16 and immediately strikes a harder, more aggressive tone than their earlier work (think a more discordant We Share Our Mother's Health rolling downhill in a shopping trolley). Insistent beats yank you to the dancefloor, only for increasingly distorted voices to scare you off it. Throughout, things stay tense, wide-eyed and unpredictable. Background music it ain't, but playing this while doing anything instantly makes it an edgy thrill, like you're up to something shifty and sinister. Even if it's the washing up.
It took a few listens before it clicked with me, in doing so demonstrating the ongoing importance of a radio station like BBC 6Music. Marc Riley, in particular, has a real Peel-like knack for championing the more... challenging tracks that can take time to win you round, making use of having a four-nights-a-week show to persist bringing new music past that first what-the-hell-was-that phase. Much the same happened with We Want War by These New Puritans, a startlingly complex, unsettling and long piece of music that sounded like nothing else out there on its release. As with Full of Fire, We Want War did absolutely nothing for me the first couple of plays but, with Riley's persistent championing of the song, it eventually clicked to such an extent that it was one of my favourite songs that year. Instant gratification through Spotify, Soundcloud, iTunes and Emusic is all very well, but there's still very much a need for DJs like Marc Riley, Tom Ravenscroft, Mary Anne Hobbs (all to be found on 6Music) who know that sometimes the very best music doesn't always grab you by the lapels and give you a great big kiss. Sometimes music that on first listen leaves you cold needs time to slide under your skin and never let go.