Reviewed: Trentemøller – “Reworked/Remixed”
Anders Trentemøller is one of the most dynamic and revered forces in electronic music of the past decade. His early releases on Naked Music, Poker Flat, and Audiomatique revealed a sonic precision and production mastery, but it wasn’t until his furious, glitchy remix of Yoshimoto’s “Du What U Du” that he began to catch fire.
His debut album from 2006, The Last Resort, revealed a newfound cinematic elegance in the form of the brooding “While the Cold Winter Waiting,” the lonely “Miss You,” and the haunting “The Very Last Resort.” The defining moment of the album occurs in “Take Me into Your Skin” as melancholic guitars, strings, and live drums bloom and crystallize Trentemoller’s evolution from producer into musician.
Trentemøller’s organic, musical approach to creating moving electronic pieces is on full display in the Reworked/Remixed collection. His mastery of the remix format is absolute as his reinventions of songs are so engaging, emotional, and gripping that often times they completely eclipse their original counterparts. Trentemoller’s remix of Djuma Soundsystem’s “Les Djinns” is the quintessential example. While the original version has been all but forgotten, his remix is one of the most emotive pieces of electronic music to date.
Reworked/Remixed is a varied exhibition ranging from the gentle, lovely take on The Do’s “Too Insistent” to the psychedelic shimmy of Lars & the Hands of Light’s “Me, Me, Me.” There is darkness too. “The Mole” by Chimes and Bells has a dirge-y intro before wrapping itself around a growly bassline reminiscent of Suicide’s “Ghost Rider.” Trentemoller’s reinvention of his own “Neverglade” is slow and black, and it’s one of the defining pieces of this collection.
There are a few missed opportunities here. Trentemøller’s makeover of Giana Factory’s “Dirty Snow” is plodding, heavy, and never quite lifts off. The remix of Depeche Mode’s “Wrong” feels far too paint-by-numbers for a producer of this caliber. Remixes of tracks from Trentemoller’s 2010 album, Into the Great Wide Yonder, produced by other electronic artists are also included in this collection. There are a few interesting explorations- Modeselektor’s remix of “Tide” is quirky and oddly beautiful, and UNKLE’s facelift of “Neverglade” is hopeful and dynamic, but overall the original versions of Great Wide Yonder’s songs are preferable.
Remixed/Reworked demonstrates how it is possible for an artist’s body of work to be eclectic and unpredictable and yet still be immediately identifiable. Equally adept at electronic and rock textures, Trentemøller is unstoppable.
Check out the album teaser now: