Album of the week: Harbour Boat Trips Vol. 2 by Trentmøller

There’s a palpable coldness to Trentmøller’s latest musical creation. An icy sting clings to the atmosphere of the tracks, like a cold mist clinging to the surface of the ocean. It seems to waft off the glassy exterior and into your ears where its cold touch lingers for its duration. It arrives as the literally titled, Harbour Boat Trips, and it is the long-awaited second instalment of a mixed compilation by the Trentmøller. The first Harbour Boat Trips was released back in 2009, and it was always expected that Trentmøller would follow it up, but none expected to wait nearly a decade. With the help of HFN music, it’s finally here.

Like its predecessor, the theme remains Copenhagen. “Loosely inspired by the motion and movement of Copenhagen’s busy harbour,” Harbour Boat Trips captures the evocative mood of the Danish capital’s shore through a collection of wispy electronica, shoe-gazing tempos, seductive vocals and piercingly cold atmospheres.

Trentmøller might be best known for his cinematic electronic albums like “Last Resort” and “Fixion”, or his entrancing live performances with a full band, but he has also been known to dabble in the booth, and has compiled on rare occasion, stunning mixed pieces for the likes of Late night Tales and Audiomatique Recordings. “Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from my own stuff and present some of the music I like and music that inspires me,” he says in the liner notes of the compilation. Combining pieces from artists like Tropic of Cancer, Pyrit, The Raveonettes, Slowdive and of course his own catalogue, the connection between the diverse roster of artists is tenuous, but the results are consistent and captivating.

There’s a sonic identity to the compilation and mix with a sinuous link to the DJ-artist behind the mix. Trentmøller’s natural penchant for leading female vocals and electronic musical pieces that move like sentient organisms is also accounted for on this mix, with the DJ stringing these various pieces together in the same way an album would unfold. “I like it when a mix tells a story,” he says in the press release for the record. “If the tracks together takes you on some kind of journey, then it’s interesting to me.”

Harbour Boat Trips vol.2 is not so much about the journey, but rather it’s destination. The listener is instantly transported to Trentmøller’s musical idea of Copenhagen and if you’ve ever been to Copenhagen, walking along the harbour boardwalk, it doesn’t take much to cajole the listener back to that place. There’s always been a very definitive mood that has accompanied Trentmøller’s music, and it wasn’t something that could easily be relayed that effectively through a mix of music, but somehow he’s managed to capture that mood in this mix too. Trentmøller makes absolutely no concessions to the underlying sonic theme of the mix, encouraging the listeners to completely immerse themselves in the music as they are whisked away to that elusive destination.