Review: Antenne - #3 (2008)


artist: Antenne
release: #3
format: CD
year of release: 2008
label: Hel­met Room
dur­a­tion: 49:43

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

#3 is the (you guessed it) third album by Dan­ish duo Antenne, con­sist­ing of Kim G. Hansen and Marie-Louise Munck. Both mem­bers have exper­i­ence in the band Amstrong, and Hansen was also part of Insti­tute for the Crim­in­ally Insane. This album is mar­keted as trip-hop, but I always have a hard time ima­gin­ing what to expect from some­thing like that. Portishead invari­ably gets men­tioned in such con­texts, and the promo sheet for #3 is no excep­tion. This kinda thing always bugs me, because I hap­pen to be one of the appar­ently few people who’s not rav­ing mad about Portishead, and that has caused me to gen­er­ally ignore things to do with so-called trip-hop.

Enough whin­ing, though - once more I’ve told myself that one always just needs to cut the crap and listen to the CD. Well, #3 is a fine, relax­ing album put together from elec­tron­ics (though not many prom­in­ent beats), acous­tic and elec­tric gui­tars, key­boards, and soft female vocals cour­tesy of Madam Munck. The first three tracks set a strong, calm mood, util­ising the ele­ments men­tioned above. Espe­cially “Gloves On” has a cap­tiv­at­ing, even uplift­ing char­ac­ter. “Ttreaa#7” is an exper­i­mental instru­mental track full of static, noise and some great gui­tar and sax­o­phone work. “Blue Light” has a more mel­an­cholic atmo­sphere, with very a very min­imal and sad melody, and some subtle per­cus­sion. Two of the last three tracks are instru­mental exper­i­ments again, though a bit more con­ven­tional than “Ttreaa#7”. “End” is the last track with vocals, another one with a slightly more mel­an­cholic atmo­sphere.

At some points I feel the album is per­haps a touch too easy. The vocals are con­sist­ent, but you could also say they are a bit stale. The album exper­i­ments at times, and it does so very well, but the end res­ult still is a bit care­ful for my tastes. I think Antenne would do bet­ter to keep the good points steady, but to try to add a bit more of a chal­lenge to the whole. All the same, #3 is a very pleas­ant album that works fine as it is. It’s full of that pecu­liar mood that is at the same time calm, down­cast, and com­fort­ing.

So, trip-hop or not, I’ll leave that to oth­ers. What counts is that this is a well-succeeded album with equal parts elec­tron­ica, ambi­ent, and mel­an­cholic folky pop, and if that sounds appeal­ing, do try these Danes out.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Long To Kiss (6:37)
2. Gloves On (7:01)
3. Days into Nights (6:42)
4. Ttreaa#7 (5:59)
5. Blue Light (6:23)
6. Ernst (5:49)
7. End (4:55)
8. All of Us (6:17)