At first glance this looks just like any number of late night chillout compilations, and it’s certainly true that the first in a series of Harbour Boat Trips has been primed for that type of listener. What is immediately intriguing, and reassuring, is the extent of unfamiliar names on show, a guarded promise that the compiler will introduce us to something new.
Said compiler and mixer is Anders Trentemøller, DJ and electronic producer par excellence. He has a straightforward agenda – to share with us some of his favourite tracks, while putting others in a different context. We therefore have the unusual idea of his remix of someone else’s cover version, as well as two tracks melded together for a crowd pleasing finale. Also dotted around are some lovely, woozy late night numbers in which to immerse.
Yet somehow none of this sounds contrived, everything flows together really well and the weird and the wonderful intertwine seamlessly for our benefit. Loosely speaking Trentemøller structures his mix so that we start off with a blend of 1960s-influenced psychedelia and more modern, vulnerable sounding songwriters. Then the pace picks up as electronic grooves are introduced, before the rules are pretty much dispensed with at the end, the DJ cramming in all his favourite tunes before the neighbours upstairs complain.
Into the first category fall the blissful tones of Brian Jonestown Massacre, the plaintive voice of Emilíana Torrini and the ever so slightly folky Gravenhurst. As the pace picks up and the music gets plugged in it’s down to the probing beats of Nic Endo to impress, his remix of The Raveonettes‘ Aly, Walk With Me particularly effective. As we move on the tempo gets progressively faster, so that by the time the fulsome bass of David Garcet arrives the party has found its second wind. Perhaps more impressive is the remix-cover version effort, The Raveonettes again involved, as their take on Joy Division‘s She’s Lost Control spins an excellent guitar riff on to the end of its chorus.
You’ll gather from all this that the first Harbour trip is a revealing and occasionally remarkable musical journey, revealing ever more content with each voyage. As we arrive back to shore with a rather clever link up of Copenhagen Collective and Soft Cell, our ears are suitably enriched.