Anders Trentemoller has risen from the shadows once more for his latest studio album, Lost. Released to critical acclaim from both fans of his early techno productions for Poker Flat to his previous LP, the experimental, live focused ‘Into The Great Wide Yonder’, the Danish producer has come a long way since his humble beginnings on the local techno circuit. After the album The Last Resort established him as an exciting talent to fans of dance and electronic music, Anders continues to impress new fans and intrigue long-time fans with his naturally formed and intricately produced hybrids of electronica, techno, live instrumentation and beyond. As he heads to London for his next live show in November, MEOKO sat down with Anders to discuss the bridging of digital and live instrumentation, the mindset of isolated productions and the gradual open mindedness of electronic and dance music in 2013.
You’re known for being quite an intricate producer no matter what style your music leans towards… how long did you spend on the new album?
I think I spent about 15 months on the album – I pretty much begun on it after my last world tour and I started about four days after because I was excited to get started with my new sound; we played more than a hundred shows so there was no time to make music, and I don’t make it on the road. I was hungry.
You’re a big fan of film, visual art and movies – your music often features great videos and artistic aesthetics – does this feature as a prominent theme in your work?
I’m a big fan, but I love my daily life and not doing anything but you know, hanging out. When you are at a point of getting a little bit bored of things in your life, for me, that’s when the inspiration to make music comes. I think I take a lot from being bored, it makes me uncomfortable and it’s that what influences me. That’s the way I work, so as a result there is no theme behind the record, just the zone that I’m in at the time. I let things go naturally and eventually everything clicks together. You have to not be afraid of not being inspired.
But when you hit that point, do you often find yourself going back to productions and recordings to make changes?
Definitely, yes. But for me, I work on my own in the studio. There’s the heavy focus of the band live of course, but when I write, I do it alone. When I’m playing instruments and producing music, I’m in complete isolation usually for about a month. But yeah, sometimes it’s really hard to be your own judge and see your work from another perspective; sometimes after working on a track for a bit you lose perspective so the aim is it to view it from the outside and to take a break when needed. It can be a rollercoaster journey at times.
You don’t approach the album with a pre conceived idea of the music, but you went straight into it after a large tour; has this in some way had a natural influence, your time on the road and being surrounded by the live music world?
Actually, I don’t think so, because there are many live instruments on this new album and I play a lot of live stuff anyway. But for me it was natural thing to incorporate that of course, but I didn’t think about how the tracks would sound on stage at all or if they would work live. So although the sound is more live, I’m working in the same way I have always worked, very much on my own. It’s not just the music, but the atmosphere that I try to capture in my music.
You get used to playing with your band every night, especially sharing a bus haha. On one part, it was a relief to be back and discover my own space again, but on the other hand I miss the whole camaraderie and being with my friends.
The new album is definitely a progression from your last album which was heavily live, but this also sees you return to your more synthetic, techno leaning sound…
Yeah there’s lots of electronic elements in there and also a lot of shoe gazing stuff. Lots of different little bits– I’m trying to let the music dictate the output to me and it all depends on the vibe of that track as to what instruments suit that mood. In electronic music – and even in other scenes like indie – people are always searching to define the new sound – like what people dub the sound from Berlin, for example, to help process it. For me, it should be about music first.
You make music naturally, but your music has actually changed over time and through the curse of your albums – do you think producers can be too genre specific? Is electronic music gradually becoming more diverse?
That was a big part of the scene, but I try to stay away from the ‘scene’ as such; I don’t consider myself to be a strictly electronic musician, just as a musician. Some people do really use their energy sounding like one thing, I think it’s actually a bit better now, and that people seem to be more open minded. Take a huge success like LCD Soundsystem – playing club music, but also playing it live with lots of elements of other music. I like if things have been produced by a computer but sometimes it needs a more human touch too. You can make a run of the mill house and techno track quite easily and be completely removed from it and that’s a bit boring.
By Joe Gamp