Coughing up too many cassettes and 12-inches to count (the majority via group co-founder Jan Svensson's Börft Records), Frak have remained doggedly committed to their original vision through the years. That said, they're not lacking in evolutionary refinement. Indeed, Muzika Electronic possesses the kind of seasoned craftsmanship indicative of veteran musicians (i.e. they know exactly what they want and how to achieve it). As a result, this means the record isn't nearly as anarchic as, say, Hard Friends or Old Traka-Traka Party, standout titles dating back to the mid-'90s. What's more, the record exudes an appreciation of stylistic breadth that reflects years of deep-focus exploration. In this sense Frak are sort of like a cunning, old magician with a vast arsenal of tricks, any one of which he can call up with a snap of his fingers.
Because of these qualities, Muzika Electronic makes for a suitable sampler platter, whether you're a would-be initiate or just casually curious. Both the opener "Voyage No. 1" and "Katamorph" are amorphously scratchy and squiggly, representing as they do Frak's avant-garde tendencies (think the Keith Fullerton Whitman zone). Built from dubby zaps and ping-ponging babble, "Komma Igång" is in a similar boat, but with a melodic bounce reminiscent of Neue Deutsche Welle oddballs Pyrolator and Der Plan.
Shifting focus to actual beats and grooves, "Varje Dag" is a slice of fairly orthodox minimal wave (New Order-like arpeggiations, crisply hissing hi-hats, robo-vox) proving Frak aren't necessarily allergic to club culture. Additional proof is the splendid "In Order to Create," replete with gooey EBM darkness and hand-clap triplets. Though both of these tracks are noticeably low-tech and grainy, a DJ could easily slip them into a set full of Italians Do It Better jams and indie-electro without fear of stink eye from the dance floor. The same could also be said of "Pulse-Crack," but then again, maybe not, considering it's awfully dirty and unhinged.
Muzika Electronic smartly closes with its best production: "Choosing Format." Stumbling bass, cardboard toms, chintzy snares, muffled gurgles, a hypnotically lopsided gait... this is Frak's textbook sound. In it one can hear plainly the considerable influence they've exerted on technoise (in particular Ren Schofield's Container project). But what's really interesting is its minimal structure and just how archetypal it is. Despite the fact that these Swedes have spent the last four decades operating outside of techno, so to speak, they're not that far removed from Omar-S in their uncanny ability to tap the raw nature unique to the music's earliest and (some would say) purest manifestations.