mon 18/11/2019

CD: Trentemøller - Obverse | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Trentemøller - Obverse

CD: Trentemøller - Obverse

Danish noir star reassesses his methods

Nordic noir: Trentemøller perfectly captures that eerie Scandi aesthetic

Since the mid-2000s, Anders Trentemøller has been a major part of the European live circuit. A long time indie rock musician in his native Copenhagen, he had actually come to prominence as a fairly commercial electro-house remixer, but it was his 2006 album The Last Resort that cemented his position. Blending a subtler version of his dance production tricks with British shoegaze guitars and a bleak and eerie widescreen sweep, it was the perfect encapsulation of a particular kind of Nordic noir aesthetic: hints of dark doings in bleak forests and the cold sublime of unpopulated vistas abounded.

He compounded The Last Resort's word of mouth success with devastating live shows, with full band and equally dark and impeccably realised visuals, and has been a fixture at festivals since. His last album, 2016's Fixion, was song heavy, with uptempo (though still menace-filled) synthpop / Joy Division influenced tracks alongside the moody brooding. This time, however, he's made a conscious decision to get away from the pressures of his live following, and aimed to “[explore] the possibilities in my studio, with no consideration of how it could be performed on a stage.” 

It was clearly the right move at the right time. Obverse is a truly beautiful record, with molecular level attention to texture that makes everything shimmer with an uncanny numinosity, even at its very quietest and most withdrawn. In one sense it's not a radical departure – the shoegaze fizz is still here, as is the David Lynch sense of elegant menace, The Cure circa Disintegration drama, and so on. But the sense of ideas being able to breathe and unfold at their own pace, not wired to the adrenaline-focused dynamic of the arena, is palpable. Extraordinary pieces like the fluttering ambience of “Trnt” which flowers diabolically in the last of its eight minutes into Sunn o))) style doom drone are nothing but themselves. What's organic and what's electronic, what's texture and what's illusion, what's delightful and what's terrifying are all brought into question – but wasn't in question is that this is an artist at the height of his powers.

@joemuggs

Watch the video for "Try a Little":

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature

★★★★★

A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway

 

Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.

 

★★★★★

This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman

 

Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.

 

Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.