Cold, Dark and Anew
Copenhagen-based producer Trentemøller has been around since 2003, reinventing his sound with every release. From his groovy tech house beginnings to the sophisticated IDM subtly of his break out album The Last Resort, Trentemøller continues his evolution with the album Obverse. The tracks on this album are more structurally complex and produced than his past work, featuring a number of vocalists and collaborators to humanize the coldness of his instrumentation.
“Cold Comfort” is a slow trodding downtempo track with a huge variety of sonic textures of movements. The track is dynamically rich, blown-out grandiose synth brass electrifies Rachael Goswell’s glistening vocals. The synths are droning and dark, held down by a marauding programmed drum beat. It’s a nuanced and thorough track, both emotionally and sonically, touching the lightness and darkness of our cluttered human existence. “Church of Trees” is a restrained synth odyssey. Progressive blips and ethereal pad coalesce in a dense fog of otherworldly noise.
“In The Garden” is an indie rock exercise for Trentemøller—synthetic percussive blips are encompassed by atmospheric guitars and Lina Tullgren’s soft singing. These first few songs showcase impressive stylistic variety, Trentemøller’s influences come out strongly in the sounds he latches onto. Songs like “Giant” are purely introspective synthetic pieces, others like “Try a Little” are distinctly rock-influenced, and tracks like “Blue September” bridge these two stylistic extremes.
In Obverse, Trentemøller showcases his production chops by exploring vastly distinct styles and sounds, all while keeping cohesive emotion and tonality. These tracks are cold, atmospheric and complex, and his collaborators help to break up the dense synthetic walls he puts up with their delicate yet powerful vocal chops.