ALBUM REVIEW: Trentemøller “Fixion”


Danish electronic music producer and multi-instrumentalist Trentemøller is releasing his fourth full-length studio album and all of its awesomeness this Friday, September 16. “Fixion” is a record for the interestingly and artistically dark souls who can appreciate the sounds of strong, somber synths.

The album begins with a direct deep-seated eeriness that continues throughout the entire project. The first track is titled “One Eye Open,” and begins with the vibrant, repetitive beat of deep drums that invites listeners into a never-ending abyss of feelings.The entire album is a cascade of minimalist synth-scapes and bonafide electro-punk, with every track coming together perfectly to tell a melodic story.

By track four, the album picks up momentum with “River in Me.” The production of this song is culminating and has the vibe of a retro arcade video game. It gives the sense of someone who is on a focused mission and can’t be stopped. The moderately upbeat melodies extend through tracks like “Phoenicia” and “Redefine.”

By track eight, Trentemoller slows it down once again with “November,” which sounds like it is straight out of a horror film, building the anticipation of a nightmarish scene. The attention to detail and collaboration of sounds in this track display an exquisite fusion of drums, synths, and vocal cuts. This track is beautiful, and perhaps one of the best songs on the album.

The best thing about music like that of “Fixion,” is that its use of minimal lyrics provoke listeners to really create their own narrative, backed by the feelings the music builds inside of you. This is the type of music that encourages us to feel something. It’s the kind of record that with each listen, will repeatedly unlock new intricacies and make the listener perceive the work differently each and every time.

To get a preview of what to expect, check out the visuals for the first single off of Fixion, “River in Me.”

VIDEO OF THE WEEK 1/13: Trentemøller “Gravity”


Danish indie-slanted electronic musician Trentemøller has debuted the video for “Gravity,” the second track off his 2013 album Lost. This video is the story of a day in the life of Mr. Carpool, played by Oscar Isaac (recently of Coen Brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis), as he walks the shoulder of a Los Angeles highway, advertising his services as an extra passenger for single drivers who want to fast-track into the carpool lane. Isaac’s title role in Inside Llewyn Davis depicts a down and out folk singer who hitchhikes to New York with no money; in “Gravity,” Mr. Carpool takes on the role of companion, road trip buddy, and confidant.

The relationship between driver and passenger begins ambiguously, with Isaac in disheveled businessman apparel, carrying a briefcase, as the sun rises over the LA highway system. Trentemøller’s staid, pulsing beats suggest a reflective loneliness, with a backdrop of a ticking clock and high vocals that trace placid arches over the music.

Mr. Carpool’s first customer, a harassed looking middle aged man, shoves a life-size doll out of the passenger seat as Carpool shoves into the car. From there on, Isaac’s character is privy to all the eccentricities of people alone in their cars: drivers scream on cell phones, blast their radios, make jokes, eat snacks, cry, and offer him hits off a joint. We don’t hear anything of this, of course; “Gravity” swells and harmonizes as it progresses, blurring together into a representation of the digressions and experiments of the day. By the video’s end, it seems as if “Gravity” has become the soundtrack to a life as viewed from the passenger seats of strangers’ cars. Though Mr. Carpool charges a ten dollar fee for his services, it quickly becomes apparent that he’s just as valuable as a companion as he is an extra body to qualify the car for a space in the car pool lane. We see his drivers soliciting his advice, shaking his hand, or asking him to check their make up.

Like “Gravity” itself, this music video speaks to themes of isolation and togetherness, and easily how a business arrangement gives way to personal interaction. The highway, an apt metaphor for being alone together, opens up to Mr. Carpool in this five and a half minute representation of a work day.

When day of hitchhiking is done, Carpool waits by the side of the road until a dark blue Volkswagen swings by–it’s a woman, one of his customers from earlier that day. He gets in the car and the pair, smiling and familiar with each other–although we saw them meet each other for the first time earlier in the day–drive off, in the right-hand lane of the highway. As the various lines of “Gravity” resolve into harmony, its visual component ends with an uplifting sense of peace–a literal drive into the sunset.

Watch the video for “Gravity,” out via Rolling Stone, below: