Apparently Danish trio WhoMadeWho have big plans for 2011. Tomas Barfod, Tomas Hoffding and Jeppe Kjellberg are saying Knee Deep, their first offering on stalwart German techno imprint Kompakt, is just one side of the music they wrote and recorded last year while holed up in an unfinished hotel near a harbor. Coming later this year will be a “full-album” of the band’s more melodic inclinations, but it has it’s work cut out if it plans to out do the gloomy disco sound they’re stepping out with first. What they’re calling a mini-album is nine tracks that cast shadows with deeply forlorn vocals and hearty synths and then chase those shadows down with pounding rhythms and charged basslines. It starts of on a foreboding note with the slow, heavy beats of “There’s An Answer” that build around the unanswered question until the beats reaches a place completely at home with the sounds familiar to fans of Kompakt. Lead single “Every Minute Alone” carries the mood, as Kjellberg sings of a phone call to fulfill a need, the nervous beat gets edgier and edgier until a tortured squealing horn grabs the wheel. He could just as easily be singing about satisfying an addiction as contacting a lover and the music feels right either way. The beats go darkly minimal for “All That I Am” and the lyrics match, creating an introspective mood in perpetual motion. Like much of the dark electronic pop that’s come before WhoMadeWho’s latest, the drive behind the music is the key to success. Rather than wallow in insecurities and unknowns, this is an album that album embraces them and sets them in motion, finding moments of escape among its internal struggles. There may be some hints to what they band has in store next as the music loosens and brightens a bit even if the lyrics don’t on “We’re Alive, It’s a Miracle” before closer “555” locks in on a relentless guitar that sounds as transitional as it is driving. The band’s follow-up full length remains a mystery for now, but it’s already got some stiff competition from opening act Knee Deep.