One is in equal measures amazed and fascinated upon visiting Piramida, the Russian mining town on the Norwegian island of Svalbard, which remains deserted as if it was a fictional setting of the time after World War III. The human beings are gone, but the minimalist concrete apartment blocks remain and bear witness to the life that was. Here, the Danish band Efterklang goes ashore to collect the site's melancholia and soul in the form of small soundbites, which form the framework for their latest album, 'Piramida'. Accompanied by their taciturn and not visibly impressed Russian guide, the group goes on a treasure hunt in the empty building, while the narrator, the Piramida-citizen Alexander, takes us back to a bygone era, when Piramida flourished and the immigrant Russian miners and their families lived in a Soviet parallel society far from the horrors of their homeland. In old-style Russian, the social pleasures of the community in this communist mini utopia are praised while Efterklang's collected sounds take shape and beautifully accompany the enchanting tale about the place's rise and fall. The story of this lost place is adventurous and melancholy, and leaves a deep impression long after the credits have stopped rolling. Enchanting.
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