Published Sep 07, 2016Since the release of his guest-heavy third album in 2013, Lost, Anders Trentemøller's stock has risen considerably. The Danish producer supported Depeche Mode throughout their last European stadium tour, then provided the theme music to AMC series Halt and Catch Fire. It should thus come as no surprise that Fixion, Trentemøller's fourth album in ten years, comes off much more confident and cinematic, using his experiences over the past few years to help shape these 12 tracks.
Most notably, Trentemøller brings back frequent collaborator Marie Fisker to provide vocals for four tracks, as he plays off of her dreamy, breathy vocals with layers of shimmering synth, echoed guitars and processed drums that closely resemble '80s new wave and synth pop. Former Giana Factory vocalist Lisbet Fritze, with whom he's worked over the past few years — he produced her band's 2014 LP Lemon Moon and recruited her to play guitar during his last tour — provides vocals here, but overall, she feels a bit misused; Trentemøller fails to draw anything from her performances that he doesn't receive from Fisker.
"River in Me," his collaboration with Savages' Jehnny Beth, helps break the album away from its early monotony, as he trades floating rhythms for sharp phrasings and pulsating beats. Although instrumentals like "November" and "Spinning" mimic dark '80s soundtrack works that have been popular as of late, much of Fixion, while enjoyable, finds Trentemøller stuck on the same weary note, reaching for what's comfortable and familiar rather than pushing his craft forward. (In My Room)