Listening to Trentemøller has always been a cerebral experience. I am a fan of music that you can feel in your body, sounds that use every one of your senses to enthrall you. For that reason, Trentemøller is often thrown in with bands like Depeche Mode, The Cure, and Massive Attack. Trentemøller leaves you wrung out and hypnotized the way that certain drugs do. But Trentemøller’s latest album, Memoria, is a more stripped-down, calming experience. Somehow optimistic in its composition.
Memoria means memory and the album does have the quality of a memory, things that you think of with deep emotion but also with the wisdom of experience that allows you to look upon these things with honesty. Lisbet Fritze’s vocals are perfectly ghostly in the foreground of the instrumentals that Trentemøller — whose full name is Anders Trentemøller — is known for. “No More Kissing in the Rain” in particular has a heart-wrenching quality to it that makes you want to cry with pure joy at how beautiful it is. There are, of course, also the fully instrumental tracks that we have learned to expect from Trentemøller. “Dead or Alive” is a classic that reflects on the high-powered machine of sound that we have come to expect from the noise musician, but it is matched by tracks like “Linger” that has the quality of a homesickness and longing and “The Rise” with its eery synths and high-energy middle.
Trentemøller has been making music for 15 years now and has developed a sound that is all his own regardless of the obvious comparisons to ’80s punk bands. What is truly impressive about what Trentemøller manages to do is to create a clear message with his mostly instrumental music. Even those tracks that do have vocals focus mostly on the trance-inducing instrumentals. Still, though, the thoughts and feelings behind his tracks are obvious. Whether it’s the more mellow “All Too Soon” or something heart pumping like his older song “Deceiver,” which has an almost cinematic quality to it, you always know exactly where he is coming from. Trentemøller has talked before about the beauty in melancholic feelings, something that strikes home in his music. There is joy and melancholy and beauty and energy in every single one of his singles. It is very human music considering its genre in punk electronica/noise. But when done right, that is exactly what electronic music should do. It is meant to invoke feeling, light up every single one of the senses. That’s what makes Trentemøller so special.