I'm always a bit humbled when I find out about large group entities like Efterklang. I know how hard it is sometimes to share and expand ideas in a group of 5, so when I see that Efterklang doubles that as a 10-piece, I simply wonder how they do it. Arriving from Denmark (who has seen their fair share of solid artists in the past couple years with Manual and others), Efterklang mixes strings, vocals, electronics, and more traditional instrumentation into a sometimes-epic sonic output that recalls groups like Múm and even the Rachel's.
For having such a large number of people in the group, they manage to keep things remarkably restrained, sometimes even to the point of frustration. The opening track of "Foetus" builds slowly with filtered electronics and string washes and basically serves as a warm-up to the release while "Swarming" mixes clicky programming with plenty of layered vocals, and the track never really breaks loose, instead working with very subtle builds and falls. "Step Aside" finally gets a bit more aggressive as growling programming mixes with deft vocals and strings as the track builds into a series of stunning punctuations of orchestral electronic pop.
"Prey And Predator" works in many of the same ways, toying with the listener for almost 5 minutes as glinting electronics click and spray before the track finally closes with a flourish of horns and strings that make the wait almost worth it. In listening to Tripper, one rarely gets the feeling that the group is indeed such a large entity. While at some points the tracks swell with the sound that only a large amount of people can create, the group doesn't seem to break loose nearly enough. The ambient "Dopplegänger" is pretty enough, but like several other tracks on the release, the quieter songs simply don't stack up to the more developed ones. Closing things out on a strong note, "Chapter 6" takes the frenetic programming, male/female vocals, strings, and horns and stirs them into one final track that moves through several different sections and ends things beautifully. Considering this is their full-length debut (they had one other self-released EP), there's a lot of promise from the young group.