Mortinus’ latest album, “Morten” is a collection of highly melodic, superbly arranged, precisely mixed, texturally varied electronic music that sounds like it could have come from no other artist. The recording absorbs many different sounds and styles from loping breakbeat to drum and bass, to ambient and hints of ambient, but it all has a way of making other genres seem like they exist to serve his particular vision. Mortinus throughout his recording career has been an influence sponge; part of his clever musical disposition is based on how he takes disparate ideas and runs them through his highly idiosyncratic filter. You will find Middle Eastern flavors mixed with South Asian influences, and classical textures blended with jungle rhythms.
The highlights come when he puts his own spin on genres, making world music interesting, break-beat more eletrifying, and ambient music more gorgeous. And it’s a confident album precisely because it’s not self-consciously pushing the envelope. Electronic music with a strong beat not necessarily intended for the dancefloor is being perfected by Mortinus, and he demonstrates on this album exactly how it’s done. “Evening At The Marketplace” is a prime example of this particular intuition.
Whether the Danish producer has acquired new machinery or improved the way in which he records, “Morten” contains some of his most palpable music; it’s a headphone record that is a feast for the ears. But as exquisite as all the sonic pieces are, the core of the record is its steady sense of momentum, all the more remarkable since the tempos are intense, yet relaxed and uniform and the same time. Listen to “Morning Train” for a taste of this theory.
The album’s formal simplicity keeps the focus on the arrangements, which glide smoothly from one track to another, allowing a new element—a melodic twist or a shift in the beat, to enter seamlessly into every bar. “Mooi Nights”, “Mooi Dance”, and “Mooi Nights Part 2” showcase these delicacies.
The care and virtuosity with which these tracks were composed is immediately obvious, but nothing feels procrastinated over; the album has an easy flow despite it all is one of its diverse influences and flavors, and there’s something new to uncover with every listen. As the tracks on “Morten” unravel themselves, tempos fluctuating and colors running, enough variety emerges to make the album’s 14-track run time feel significantly shorter.
The focus on detail and especially impressive completeness each track features, and harmonizes with each other, is an improvement and an easier listen in comparison to the rushes of noise the electronic movement is currently delivering. Though complexity is sometimes intrinsic to the auditory vibration of certain songs, it is never unbalanced and each piece of the “Morten” experience will bring you into a state of audio interstellar bliss.
It seems these past months have really brought together Mortinus’ artistic baggage, allowing him to create an album worthy of applause, making it just as enjoyable for those familiar with his music, as it is extremely approachable for the novice. Key tracks to listen to include: “Star Light”, “Mooi Nights”, “Blue Crystal Gemstones” and “Evening At The Marketplace”.