- Party-friendly house tracks with plenty of character.
- Frak carved out their own bizarre path for over three decades, eventually earning a solid fanbase through force of will. As romantic as this electronic tortoise-and-hare fable is, Frak, like any vital creative institution, has undergone a remarkable evolution, the band's own trajectory as much responsible for its present resurgence as cognoscenti tastes.
Many of Frak's recent records have aimed at the dance floor, a streamlined version of their alternately playful and gnarly sound. "It's a big strength to be able to strip everything down and do the simple tracks that we do right now," Frak's Johan Sturesson said back in 2013. "It's a strength to be able to do that after so many years exploring in every direction."
The Berga Magic EP is a masterclass in how to make interesting straight-ahead dance tracks. "Tarpaulin" is little more than a two-note bassline and ravey stab hammered ad infinitum, yet subtle changes—a snare here, a bass modulation there—every few bars keep the water pleasantly choppy. The title track is a remarkably ominous mid-tempo drum workout, the grey mood aided by wasp-like white noise and minor chords looming like dark clouds. Even during the record's most functional moment, "Monogram"'s chunky minimal beat, one of these mad Swedes is deep in the background laying down alien soundscapes. Those out-there atmospherics assimilate into rhythmic form on the acidic "Making Control." Even when they're playing it straight, the creative restlessness that has defined Frak's long, strange trip shines through.
A2 Berga Magic
B2 Making Control