Boomkat Product Review:
Clarice Jensen luxuriates in timbral nuance across the elegant post-classical scapes of her accomplished 2nd album with FatCat’s 130701
‘Esthesis’ portrays Jensen stealthily emerging from her solo chrysalis with a quietly distinctive voice. For the best part of this century so far, she’s been a versatile collaborator with notable figures including Jónsi, Matmos, William Basinski, Arcade Fires, Björk, Max Richter and Taylor Swift, heck even Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, but Jensen’s own music is a much subtler characterisation of her background in contemporary classical, quietly relating to her work as director of American Contemporary Music Ensemble, known for performances of the c.20th minimalist canon, and found most recently on their recording of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s ‘Drone Mass’ with Paul Hillier’s Theatre of Voices.
Sensitively feeling out instrumental cello gestures via banks of electronic effects in ‘Esthesis’, Jensen finds a fine line between in-the-moment, tactile precision and lingering hallucinatory afterimages that emerge from her improv/compositional system. The pieces betray an exquisite depth of feeling in Jensen’s diffractive rendering of shimmering layers and gently transitory movements. The plaintive repetition of ‘Liking’ hails a classic sort of widescreen American minimalism in its subliminal unfurling, and ‘Anger’ rises most cautiously but certainly from barely there to deep burning sensation, and ‘Joy’ is palpably euphoric without being cheesy about it. The iced tones of ‘Fear’ finally thaw to a total standout in ‘Love’ that says-it-without-saying-it most beautifully, reservedly and yet heartbreakingly, for the romantics.