Release Date: Sep 16, 2016
Record label: In My Room
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock
Danish electronic mastermind Anders Trentemøller returns with Fixion, his fourth LP and first since 2013's guest-heavy outing, Lost. While the producer's work has always relied on an icy Scandinavian mystique, here Trentemøller scales back a little bit of the density of his last couple of releases in favor of a more minimalist, though often commanding sound. Of the three guest vocalists he employs, two are familiar to the Trentemøller environment.
Long rooted in electronic abstraction, Danish DJ and producer Trentemøller has increasing inched his way into the realm of more straight ahead electronic pop music. Through a handful of successful remixes for the likes of Robyn and other like-minded artists and production duty on Savages’ latest release, he has begun to make a name for himself away from the house music scene within which he initially made a name for himself. It’s not yet a full abandonment, however, as Fixion still features elements of Trentemøller’s heavily electronic musical past in addition to his increasingly pop future.
Always a chameleon-like figure in the dance scene, the new record from Danish DJ Anders Trentemøller, ‘Fixion’, marks a complete revolution from the chilled, mellow sounds of his now decade-old debut, ‘The Last Resort’. This should not be a complete surprise; 2013’s ‘Lost’ toyed with a heavier industrial sound that shifted away from minimal electro-house. But to call this latest effort a simple continuation in style would pay a disservice to how aggressive and assertive it sounds – Trentemøller is doing far more than entering darkness, he is a man running toward its blackened heart with a look of curious thrill-ride glee.
Anders Trentemøller has always been a fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants producer. He pays attention mainly to atmosphere and the instruments of his design get revealed in the process. Like many who immerse themselves in instinctual sound production as lifeblood, the only thing that matters is letting his gut take the lead, following later with studied execution for refinement.
Since the release of his guest-heavy third album in 2013, Lost, Anders Trentemøller's stock has risen considerably. The Danish producer supported Depeche Mode throughout their last European stadium tour, then provided the theme music to AMC series Halt and Catch Fire. It should thus come as no surprise that Fixion, Trentemøller's fourth album in ten years, comes off much more confident and cinematic, using his experiences over the past few years to help shape these 12 tracks.
From Interpol to Danny Brown, plenty of good artists have been inspired by Joy Division’s existential dread, but none have quite managed the sustained pastiche exhibited here. With clean basslines and hissing synthetic snares, Danish techno producer Trentemøller is not so much influenced by them as radicalised, leaving himself with little agency of his own. It’s all handsomely modernised and there are bright-ish moments, like the bleak dancehall syncopation on My Conviction, or the affectingly earnest ballad One Eye Open – but the latter’s resemblance to Joy Division’s Atmosphere, right down to the sweeping twinkles and trudging bass, is embarrassing.
Trentemøller 'Fixion' (In My Room)Trentemøller has come a very long way since his dubby minimal breakthrough LP ‘The Last Resort’ was released back in 2006. His fifth studio album is yet another dramatic and studiously emo affair that guides you through wintry indie landscapes, dusky synth hymns and Depeche Mode-like pop noir with a real sense of style. Once again, the Danish producer also calls on a roster of indie musicians and vocalists for back-up, and they help add an infinite amount of black and grey shade to his sounds.