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Copenhagen’s Anders Trentemøller is one of the most well respected electronic music producers on the scene today, which makes his decision to expand his horizons and take big risks on his new sophomore album all the more noteworthy. Those new to the Dane’s work should know that he has been providing his services as a remix artist since the turn of the century, lending his talents to an impressive array of top tier acts such as The Pet Shop Boys, Franz Ferdinand, Depeche Mode, Royksopp, Röyksopp, The Knife, and Moby. In 2006, Trentemøller issued The Last Resort, his critically lauded debut LP, which wasfollowed by a slew of remixes compiled in 2007’s The Trentemøller Chronicles.
On June 7th, Trentemøller will be releasing Into the Great Wide Yonder on his own label, In My Room. For someone with such illustrious credits within the electronic realm, his new record represents a dramatic departure away from the “safe” territory of pulsing beats toward a more all-encompassing approach which defies easy classification. Songs like “Sycamore Feeling” almost feel like a rebuke of sub-genre labeling, as they infuse electronic elements with more traditional, organic components.
The album’s second track invokes Trentemøller’s affinity for the minor key side of life, employing heavily reverbed guitar parts and Marie Fisker’s devastating, silken vocals to create a dense musical tundra that alludes equally to Massive Attack and Mazzy Star. When the drum machine finally kicks in about halfway through the track, it does so tastefully; its elegance is not a trait one typically associates with the instrument, but there is no denying its stateliness here. On first listen, one would be forgiven for thinking Fisker to be the star of the show–her vocals are breathtaking in the truest sense of the term. However, the real genius here is Trentemøller, who has the acuity of a well seasoned producer and knows precisely how to dress the stage around her.
As a result, “Sycamore Feeling” is a jewel of a song, one of those nearly cosmic alignments where all of the constituent parts shine and create something close to magic. Trentemøller has crafted something hauntingly beautiful, melancholic, and majestic–and we’re all the richer for having heard it.