The Last Resort
Trentemoller - The Last Resort
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The Last Resort

Let me say that unless something amazing comes along in the next couple months, it is very unlikely that you will hear a better dancefloor album this year than The Last Resort. Trentemøller started making a name for himself with a series of killer tracks that he released on the Audiomatique and Poker Flat label, and The Last Resort is his debut full length album, a sprawling (nearly eighty minutes in running length) release that's both funky and minimal at the same time while flourishing with some of the most expansive production I've heard in some time. It sends you into another world on headphones and gives your hips a twitch when bounced through stereo speakers.

Calling The Last Resort a straight dance release would be an insult, though, as it moves far beyond any simple genre designators. "Take Me Into Your Skin" opens the disc with a huge crescendo of filtered vocals, guitars, pulsing beats, and synths before dropping off into stark minimalism. It's not done there, though, and before the track has ended, it's moved through mid-tempo almost post rock sounds and a blasting end section that again pulls out the stops. "Vamp" follows, and the track stomps with a harsh, dirty guitar loop that hunkers down over hiccuping beats and warbling synth lines.

From there, he touches on minimal dub ("Evil Dub," natch), widescreen cinematic dance tracks ("Always Something Better") and dense ambient pieces that show off his deft hand at pure oozing atmosphere ("Like Two Strangers"). His minimal techno pieces rule the roost, though, and tracks like the acid-tinged "Snowflake" and the absolutely relentless "Chameleon" are best in class. The latter is especially mind-bending as it progresses slowly and subtly for over seven minutes, ripping into a thumping breakdown about two-thirds of the way through that's worth the price of admission alone.

With thirteen tracks filling up nearly all the available data on a CD, there are more than enough highlights that it's hard to know where to start. As if that weren't enough, there's a limited-edition version of the release that comes with a bonus disc containing all of his masterful dancefloor tracks released over the course of the past year or so. Some of them (including both the vocal version and thunderous remix of "Always Something Better" featuring Richard Davies) are even better than the album versions, and the other tracks on the disc are nearly all just as compelling. The end result is an absolute embarrassment of riches (over two and a half hours of music) from what has to be one of the best electronic music producers and musicians working right now (Villa-who?).

rating: 8.510
Aaron Coleman 2006-10-05 19:46:25