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lorenzo senni - Quantum Jelly
Russell Haswell, EVOL, Mark Fell, Lee Gamble - at the moment there's no end of rave-savvy sound artist types deconstructing dance music for the pleasure of sick and inquisitive minds. Lorenzo Senni is the latest to join the club (no pun intended), making his eMego debut with an album influenced by his love of "90s trance/hard-trance music and a growing interest in the musical structures and sound archetypes of these genres." What this amounts to is the Italian artist identifying generic characteristics - super-saw synth lines, ludicrous build-ups, instant-gratification melodies - and drawing attention to their strangeness through isolation and repetition. The resulting listening experience is perhaps surprisingly fluid and engaging: 'Windows Of Vulnerability', for example, has its cake and eats it, coaxing real, almost elegiac emotion out of a rollercoasting uber-trance chord progression even as it parodies it. 'Make Believe' highlights the teasing, stupefying, near-exploitative contract of gratification that we enter into when listening to commercial dance music: as its cheesy Euro melody comes closer and closer to climax you find yourself craving, almost in spite of yourself, a booming kickdrum to arrive; hell, you're downright angry when it doesn't - so hard-coded are your expectations of release, the failure to deliver feels almost like a biological insult. But while it interrogates them, this record certainly doesn't set out to rubbish trance and its time-honoured tropes - on the contrary, it's a suitably gushing love letter to the sound and its melodic patterns, patterns by now so firmly established that future historians and musicologists will probably treat them as persistent folk forms.