The Trentemoller Chronicles
nders Trentemøller’s second full-length release follows in the footsteps of his first (The Last Resort on Poker Flat) in that it too is released as a double CD set. As the name suggests, however, this is mainly previously released material: one disc is a mix of Trentemøller’s tracks (and one remix of a track by Klovn), including some new and exclusive songs, and the second is a collection of key remixes of other artists, including the Knife, Robyn, Moby, and Mathias Schaffhäuser. While longtime followers may be frustrated by the lack of new material, the convenience factor of the CD format and general quality of the tracks seems to be a pretty even trade.
Trentemøller may be treading water with this release, but at least he can’t be accused of offering up the dregs; his mix ebbs and throbs with his organic fusion style, melding live instruments with clanging electronic sounds, beats, and lots of ambience for a spacious, yet danceable experience that works equally well in the big room/cabinets and the easy chair/headphones. Moving from the chilly to the frenetic and back again, this mix is perhaps the most accurate large-scale musical statement Trentemøller has made to date, moreso even than Last Resort, which for all its appeal still got lost in the trees on occasion.
In the relatively propulsive format of the mix CD, however, Trentemøller keeps things moving and shaking with enough inertia so as to not encourage fast-forwarding, yet still provides enough tempo and stylistic changes to maintain interest. Bouncing effortlessly from the funeral-paced, Cure-esque “Blood in the Streets,” to the sultry, pulsating “Moan,” to the purist techno of “Killer Kat” and “Rykketid,” Trentemøller clearly knows how to weave his own catalog into an appealing package, as well he should. Maybe he should mix all his albums from here on out.
As expected, the remix CD doesn’t hang together nearly so well, but the tracks are unified by Trentemøller’s hand at the production wheel. He selected well, choosing tracks that represent the different sides of his style well—Schaffhäuser’s “Coincidance” is a sleek, steely beast; the Knife’s “We Share Our Mother’s Health” is twisted industrial disco; Filur’s “You and I” is Basic Channel fronted by a house diva; Robyn’s “Konichiwa Bitches” is a girl-group electro beatdown. Trentemøller doesn’t shy away from vocals either, retaining a lot more of the original songs’ feel and identity—another example of his collaborative mindset that led to his trademarked sound. The result is more like a well-chosen compilation than a cookie-cuttered vanity project.
For as wonderful as much of the material on Chronicles is, it is rather frustrating to be made to purchase an entire two-disc set just to get the few new cuts and a (admittedly rather nice) mix; the option of a separate vinyl EP with the new cuts would have been nice for fans and collectors, but this is a minor complaint. Those looking for living, breathing dance music with some real depth and genuine tunes will undoubtedly be charmed by much of what’s on offer across this set.