Trentemøller - Into The Great Wide Yonder
Denmark's Trentemøller is one of the more intriguing electronic producers to emerge in recent years. Although part of the dance scene - entertaining revellers in Ibiza during the summer months and remixing the likes of Röyksopp, Moby and Robyn -, his goth tendencies are no secret. His debut artist album The Last Resort, despite being categorised as minimal electronica, frequently sounded like it could accompany a David Lynch film. Then on the excellent 'mix' album Harbour Boat Trips Vol.1 - Copenhagen he laid bare his musical influences: the emphasis was on downbeat acoustic arrangements, scuzzy rock and hazy vocals rather than dance.
Into The Great Wide Yonder continues the soundtrack-y feel of The Last Resort, but plays down the bleeps in favour of more guitar, much of which has that familiar Lynchian twang. (Think Twin Peaks in particular.) Opener 'The Mash and The Fury' is as grand a track as you'll hear this year, its massive refrain suggestive of both the brutality of nature and heroic, conquering spirit. You can bet your last tenner that it'll soon be ubiquitous TV incidental music, accompanying images of people striking out into the wilderness or climbing mountains.
The other major difference this time round is the inclusion of vocals on a number of tracks. Those looking forward to hearing his collaboration with Fyfe Dangerfield will be disappointed; it's too wispy to leave much of an impression. Single 'Sycamore Feeling' sits better here than it does alone and, along with 'Tide', is where he's channelled his love for husky-to-the-point-of-unintelligible female vocals and gothy backing. However, the best shot at songwriting is '...Even Though You're With Another Girl'. The longing 50s feel of the title subtly colours the track - and, with its xylophone and odd lurching beat, you could quite imagine a red and blue bathed gal singing it on a stage in a Lynch film.
The main problem with Into The Great Wide Yonder is many of the instrumental tracks are underwhelming given the often stark beauty achieved without words on The Last Resort; aside from 'The Mash and the Fury', only really the pounding 'Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider Go!!!' (imagine DJ Shadow remixing Dick Dale) stands out. Into The Great Wide Yonder is certainly a comedown from Trentemøller's stunning debut, but, as suggested in an interview elsewhere on the web, this is an autumnal record which may sound better later in the year.