Copenhagen’s Anders Trentemøller has long been respected as a creator of extraordinarily memorable melodies and lush soundscapes, but for the last decade he’s been getting long overdue praise for being a producer with few rivals as well.
While many artists follow a pattern of invention and reinvention, Anders’ arc has been a series of points along the same curve, playing the long game, with each release representing the next chapter in a constantly evolving series. Contrasts and paradoxes are often explored, ultimately acknowledged in the title of his last album, Obverse. Other themes may revolve around reminiscence and remembrance, while eschewing nostalgia. His most recent release, Memoria, digs in deeper, and honors the five canons of storytelling, which also include inventio, dispositio, elocutio, and pronuntiatio. Themes of impermanence, as they relate to anything from mortality to relationships, run deep. Videos are an important part of any Trentemøller release, and Memoria’s companions both compliment it, and leave plenty of space for self-reflection and interpretation.
In 2006, following a run of EP’s, Trentemøller released his groundbreaking debut full-length, The Last Resort. Deservedly topping several end-of-year polls, this milestone of electronic music exposed his work to a far wider audience.
Since assembling his first full live band, in 2007, Trentemøller has embarked on multiple world tours, playing nearly 500 shows, regularly selling out venues. The three studio albums that followed, Into The Great Wide Yonder (2010), Lost (2013), and Fixion (2016), came out on his own label imprint, In My Room. Multiple compilations, including The Trentemøller Chronicles (2007), Reworked/Remixed (2011) Harbour Boat Trips (2009), Late Night Tales (2011), Lost Reworks (2014), Early Worx (2014), and Harbour Boat Trips 02 (2018) have also been re- leased, as well as Live In Copenhagen, in 2013. In recent years, Anders has remixed music by Tricky, Savages, A Place To Bury Strangers, Soft Moon, and UNKLE, adding to a list of over 100 previous projects.
2010’s Into the Great Wide Yonder continued where The Last Resort left off, throwing into tighter focus previously mined textures of suspense, tension, release, and noir influences.
2013’s Lost expanded things even further, truly capturing the atmospheric and darkly romantic qualities that are hallmarks of the Danish artist’s music.
The staggeringly mature Fixion was released in 2016, showcasing the artist’s penchant for experimentation, polyrhythms, and creating mélanges from his many influences and inspirations. Sometimes revealing itself gently, other times challenging the listener, the tracks share the common thread of Trentemøller’s unique, genre-defying style. Riding the line between being a collection of songs, each with its own personality, and presenting itself as a single body of work, Fixion’s praise was well-deserved, and translated brilliantly in a live context, oftentimes taking on new characteristics. Rounding this out were a series of short films symbiotically connected to the music.
2019’s Obverse was initially conceived as an instrumental album, not bound by the rule that it would have to be performed live. Using this liberating notion as a launching point, Trentemøller chased down every idea, and explored every tangent. Eventually it was decided that half of the songs could actually do with vocals. No stranger to working
with strong female singers, such as Marie Fisker, Lisbet Fritze, Savages’ Jehnny Beth, Low’s Mimi Parker, Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino, Jenny Lee of Warpaint, Anders called again on collaborators, old and new, reenlisting Fritze, Lee, plus adding Lina Tullgren, and Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell into the mix. Tying it all together is another series of short films made by Trentemøller himself, as well as the intrinsically linked artwork of the packaging, by Jesse Draxler.
After a nearly two year break, Trentemøller surprised fans by releasing two singles, Golden Sun, and No One Quite Like You, back to back, early in the summer of 2021. The latter being a stripped down piece, very different from his elaborate productions, and featuring guest vocals by Tricky.
Now, with Memoria, Trentemøller has released his longest album yet. Clocking in at 14 songs, it features somber, introspective pieces, motor- ik, dream pop, motorik, noise rock, as well as electronic pop. He continues to work with familiar subjects of light and dark, turbulence and serenity, piercing chill and comforting warmth, clearly inspired by the inherent antipodal elements of the Nordic environment he calls home, but pushes much further into this familiar territory, while simultaneously investigating new themes.