Audio Mixer: Anders Trentemoller.
Arranger: Anders Trentemoller.
Danish electronic mastermind Anders Trentemoller returns with Fixion, his fourth LP and first since 2013's guest-heavy outing, Lost. While the producer's work has always relied on an icy Scandinavian mystique, here Trentemoller scales back a little bit of the density of his last couple of releases in favor of a more minimalist, though often commanding sound. Of the three guest vocalists he employs, two are familiar to the Trentemoller environment. Longtime collaborator Marie Fisker returns to lend her well-suited pipes to a handful of cuts, as does former Giana Factory singer Lisbet Fritze, another Dane with whom Trentemoller has recently worked. The third guest is Jehnny Beth, frontwoman of British post-punk outfit Savages, whose 2016 LP, Adore Life, Trentemoller mixed. Beth's more forceful vocal approach is put to good use on the new wave-indebted electropop single "River in Me," which is easily the record's catchiest track. Elsewhere, things proceed through halls of frosty ambience, blending hard-edged electronic pop with brooding, downtempo dream pop, mixing in plenty of washed-out guitars and moody basslines. "Redefine," one of the tracks to feature Fisker's hushed vocals, is another fine example of Trentemoller working his magic in pop subtleties. The Beth-assisted "Complicated" is another highlight, with a dark-hued tone evoking the coldness of Berlin-era Bowie with shades of early Depeche Mode, the latter of whom pegged Trentemoller as their support act in 2013. The shadowy closer, "Where the Shadows Fall," marks Fritze's lone contribution and is the most ambient of the vocal tracks, filtered through layers of foggy reverb. As a whole, Fixion is a logical progression for Trentemoller, whose music seems to cinematically expand and contract while remaining true to his chosen bailiwick. ~ Timothy Monger