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We are the sum of all our memories. Memory allows us to time travel and relive our past states both emotionally and physically. Music, is often a conduit to this. Legendary Danish electronic music composer Anders Trentemøller is aware of how powerful memory is. Released today on his label In My Room, Memoria is his sixth studio album, which includes two cuts sung by Lisbet Fritze, The Gloaming and Kissing in The Rain. After four years without touring, new EU dates are set in 2022 teaming up with Grammy award-winner Leroy Bernett well known for his lights and stage designs for the likes of Prince and Paul McCartney.

Memoria is your sixth studio album. Do you see it as a nostalgic album inspired by past events perhaps?
Not really, because I don't really want to make nostalgic music, but I'm definitely inspired by all the music that I have been listening to, even since I was a teenager. I think the music that you listen to in your early years will somehow sticks with you for the rest of your life. So there’s inspirations from some of those artists. Of course, the title refers to magical feeling. Memory is such a big part of creating and speaking of the human brain. Also, it is fascinating how easily music can evoke memories, so quickly. If you're listening to a song that you once heard in your early teens in one specific situation that means something to you, and you remember that song today, you're instantly in that situation again, it can happen with other senses too. And that has always fascinated me. The title also shows how I use my memory when I'm writing music very often. You know, I get my ideas in front of my piano in the studio. Those notes are ideas. The next day I come to the studio if I can remember those melody lines separately. I think memory to me is really a big portion of the creating process. It feels such a big part of music. You have to remember this lesson within your memory.
Memories trigger emotions, for sure. Perhaps this new full-length is the most emotional yet?
Yeah, of course every new album is special because you always feel that this is your new baby that you brought to life but this time it was even more special because it's the first time that I have been writing all the melody lines for the vocals too. I have been writing everything myself. Normally I work together with vocalists and very often the vocalist has written their own melodies sometimes together with me. This time I wanted the whole album to have one human voice only because it felt having several people singing could be a bit confusing. Sometimes you had four or five features on an album. It felt a little bit less personal in the whole flow of the album. At least it was a big challenge for me to make everything melt together. So I actually asked my girlfriend Lisbet to fix it if she wanted to sing my songs.
Actually I wanted to ask you about her performance. How did it go this time, everything was written by you then?
Everything was done by me and I was quite strict about that because I really wanted to try to do exactly as I imagined it. In the beginning, she was actually a little bit like "okay, so I'm only going to sing sections just as you want me to sing it," but this time I really had a strong feeling about this – it was a little bit nerve-racking in the beginning when we started running the melodies, but this time, I just had the urge to try to do everything myself because I felt that I had some good melodies and these feelings were very new to me. She works as an architect and because of Corona, she worked from home. So it was very serendipitous both being in the house. We only had one hour or two to record. It was a bit stressful, but also quite brave. However not all the vocals were recorded in my home studio.
Perhaps due to Lisbet's voice, these two cuts sound more melodic than the rest of the album. It gave me the vibe of the soundtrack of the film Drive, especially Kissing in The Rain. What is your take on it?
Yeah, I'm definitely inspired by this. I was a teenager in the 80s. I always use different inspirations and some are more stuff like that. I wanted to go a bit further than that.
As a multi-instrumentalist what is it like for you to work in the studio alone?
Everything is always at speed because I'm totally alone in the studio, and I'm writing everything myself, playing all the instruments. Even though many of the guitar parts aren't actually real guitars. It's mainly synths going through my pedals.
That's pretty cool. In that sense, do you have a favourite pedal that you used on this record?
Ah, my favourite... You know, in my pedal collection I have more than 200 pedals. I need to stop (laughs)! I used many on this record but one that I used quite a lot is called Particle Two from Red Panda.
Did you do the final mix of the album yourself or do you prefer to leave that to someone else?
Yes, [I did] everything. And I also thought about doing the final mastering. It's always good to stand in my studio from the first demos to the last mix, because I have a clear vision of how it should sound. I always work best on my own, I think.
Perhaps Glow is my favourite song on the album at the moment. Those clean guitars and ambient sounds building up - it’s like Chris Isaak, The Cure, Boards of Canada or Aphex Twin all together. When do you know whether a song is going to be instrumental or not?
That's actually a very good question. Because sometimes I think that I stand with a song with vocals on it, and then I work further on it and I come up with some lines for vocals but there's not enough space for them maybe. I started with something that I thought should be an instrumental song, and then I had this melody in my head that could be beautiful as a vocal. So it really depends on how the music develops. It is not always clear for me in the beginning. It's about trying out different stuff. And suddenly a tipping point for the vocal appears.
The track Dead or Alive is the most energetic of the album. I hear low-pitch choruses and more wild and massive walls of sound.
That song appeared in the middle of the writing process of the album because I wanted something that had a lot of punk energy. I wrote this song very quickly in 20 minutes or so because I really felt that the album needed it. It's definitely one of  the funniest songs to play live too.
Synth arpeggios and guitar chords are beautifully crafted together in this record. Do you balance a different approach on the same song when playing it live?
It's very important to me that we don't perform exactly the same songs as from the studio album, because that is not possible. Because very often I have seven guitar parts and I cannot have seven guitars live (laughs). So it's very much about finding the basics of every song, and then trying to recreate that as a band. It doesn't mean it's a new arrangement or any of the riffs have changed. Also, people I play with come with inputs, maybe this song could be great to play a little bit faster, or the guitar player comes up with something new or a musical sensibility which wasn't on the album. And I really like that because we have to play the songs over and over again. It's great if you know there's a development. The songs are bound to change. It is a very organic thing.
Speaking of live performances, you have a European tour coming this spring. Could you be so kind as to let us know what it’s looking like at the moment?
Yeah, I'm still really crossing my fingers that most of the gigs will happen. If any of these have to be be cancelled, we will definitely postpone it to May or something like it. Everything is so unclear.
Do you think all that time and energy that artists were not able to invest in live music is being channelled towards creating more music in the studio?
Yeah. There are definitely tons of new records coming out now because people have been stuck inside for a long time. What worries me the most is some of the teenagers that are now starting to make their own choices in music, they don't even miss going to live events. I can also see a lot of people in Denmark, who were working especially in the States with live performance, are getting new jobs now because there are no jobs for them. So suddenly when it opened up, we were missing them and that goes for all the men and women working as sound engineers and light engineers too.
There has been a shift for sure. Has this affected your live set up?
I've been playing with the same band for about eight years and I wanted to do something differently this time. With my last album I didn't play live. It was basically meant for studio only. Also I had a son, so I decided to have a break for about four years. I took this opportunity with new energy. Also [the live show will have] a new identity working with LeRoy Bernett, who has worked with really big big names, which is totally amazing that he turned out to be a fan of my music. We're preparing some crazy stuff. I'm just waiting to show people but hopefully we can get some of the shows to happen this spring.
February 8th-9th there is an event in Copenhagen, London, New York. What is this about?
I've teamed up with Pitchblack Playback who organises listening parties for upcoming and classic albums in the dark on immersive sound systems: Joy Division, Fleetwood Mac, or new albums like Nick Cave and Warren Ellis-Carnage or mine now. You listen to the album in total darkness sit in the cinema and then I talk about the album. It's a nice way to present the new album to people.

Victor Moreno
Karen Rosetzsky

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