Den Svagsintes Klagan
- Analfabetism

Den Svagsintes Klagan

Since its arrival in 2014, Analfabetism has been a forum for the most unremitting and uncompromising of Fredrik Djurfeldt’s sounds. If you’ve listened to his Instans records alongside his more well-known work as one half of Severe Illusion, you’ll know that it’s no mean feat that Analfabetism (alongside the lesser known Knös project which it effectively replaced) has consistently been the coldest of its fellows, holding close to icy wellsprings of death industrial and dark ambient. New LP Den Svagsintes Klagan might use a less abrasive and more subdued toolkit than its predecessors, it’s no less weighty and unnerving.

This is the first Analfabetism record since Djurfeld relocated from the outskirts of Stockholm to the remote tundra of Norrland, and it’s tempting to read the muffled drones of ” Drängens Lyte Och Vemod” and “En Sämre Av Söner” as approximations of the long and brutal (even by Scandanavian standards) northern winters. The somewhat cryptic naming of instrumental tracks which Djurfeldt has used throughout his work continues here, but track titles which translate as “Forest Idiot” and “Then You Shouldn’t Believe It’s Summer”, not to mention allusions to folklore about forest hermits, back this up.

Of course, a trip into the woods with Djurfeldt is not going to be all placid camping – within those murky atmospheres the distorted and scraping vocal samples and white-hot high end noise which punctuate “Skogens Idiot” remind you of the power electronics and death industrial traditions from which the project emerged. The same noise which defined early Analfabetism records is very much present, it’s just distributed more sparsely. Still, that space frees things up for some unexpected moments, like the slow chiming melody which drifts through “Du Skall Då Fan Inte Tro Det Blir Sommar”, or “Drängens Lyte Och Vemod” electing to close with some wholly natural and undistorted string arrangements.

I feel the need to again stress that these harmonic and acoustic elements are in no way a softening of Analfabetism’s mood: Den Svagsintes Klagan remains deeply foreboding and menacing music which will likely scare off DJs looking for any trace of Djurfeldt’s EBM sounds or even those who like to chill out to the more laid back and contemplative ends of dark ambient. But if you’ve spent the last decade appreciating the harsher side of Djurfeldt’s work, this detour into dark forests will be a welcome one.

Buy it.