Danish experimental quartet We Like We – featuring Katrine Grarup Elbo (violin), Josefine Opsahl (cello), Sara Nigard Rosendal (percussion) and Katinka Fogh Vindelev (voice) – are unique in that they blur the distinct fields of modern classical and experimental music. Next To The Entire All is diverse and courageous, standing alone thanks to its embracing of all things experimental. Katinka’s soft vocals meet with the strings before rising higher and taking flight like a winged thing. Cello and violin intertwine, at one turn scurrying at significant speeds and at others appearing to slow dance in a room unbound by the pressures of time.
On the track ‘Endless Harmonies’, crystal-like textures shine like star-bright gemstones. A speedy tempo gives the track some real oomph, but it never loses sight of itself and it never rushes things. Instead, everything travels at the right pace. ‘Forest Sketches’ is a perfect example of this: the strings lie next to a steady trickle of water…but despite the relaxing sound of a raindrop, the stress levels start to increase, and a deep anxiety threatens to derail the whole track. As it slinks into madness, the vocal cries out in a desperate plea before it’s frozen in time, the whole track spinning into a blind vortex from which it cannot escape. Down the rabbit hole it goes.
Next in line is ‘Frost’, slowing things down, leaving quiet strings to glint like morning ice. Sharp dislocations exist within the music, its dissonant cartilage floating around in the album’s skewed skeleton, coming to the fore and striking in between the softer tracks. ‘Our Flags Are Torn’ and ‘Dark Waters’ embrace this dissonant, off-kilter streak; the music’s like an abstract painting with its unnatural shapes and contorted shadows scratching at the soul. Unfortunately, whenever a genre becomes bloated, staid music can be the order of the day – the unenthused majority sacrifices innovation for sales. Fortunately, the music of We Like We is the total opposite of that, 360 degrees and even more, as brave as a roaring lion in its articulations.