|Add Date:||2017-04-12|| ||Pull Date:||2017-06-14|| ||Charts:||RPM/Electronica|
|Week Ending:||23 Apr||16 Apr|
Genre: techno, house, trance/proggressive house “”IDM””, ambient|
Sensorimotor is the latest full-length release from Seattle-based electronic producer Lusine. Sensorimotor's songs sway from bright to brooding, beautiful to haunted, easy-going to tense. Lusine's production is laser-focused here––wonky, plucky, off-kilter synths, glitchy blips, precise drums, and compellingly-chopped vocals restlessly propel each song forward. Some tracks risk being forgettable by treading similar ground to each other or running a little long, but the standouts are strong enough to make this a very solid release overall.
Related: Clark, Plaid, Deru, Loscil, Rival Consoles, Andrew Bayer
Recommended: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 11
1. (4:38) Canopy *** – Overlapping, ambient textures of rung bells/chimes/bowls for first half until kick drum thumps and a distorted, churning synth slowly fade in and overtake the song. Some rhythmically aligned chimes spill overhead, getting the whole thing real dreamy. Builds to an almost oppressive tension until interrupted by a tearing / ripping noise, leaving only an ambient wash of bells to close the track.
2. (4:47) Ticking Hands *** – Kick, clap, & snap driven house beat (128 bpm) surrounded by fluttering, erratic, and bouncy synth glitches. Pulses of mellow electric piano chords. Sarah McIlwain’s vocals sound like they're being sung through a fan and provide a satisfying chorus melody ("time is on our side"). Glitchy sounds get increasingly chaotic as the song builds momentum. Elements gradually drop out, and song fades out.
3. (4:49) Slow Motion *** – Motivated, slightly bending pluck synth and fast hats (153 bpm). Halftime kicks and snaps. Moog bass ebbing in and out underneath. Rhythmic, glitchy samples of unknown origin appear throughout. Synths that sound like they’re being stretched out like taffy fly around soundstage around halfway mark. Fade out at end.
4. (5:32) Just a Cloud **** – More halftime kicks and claps (150 bpm). Wobbly, sporadicly bendy high synth & a consistently plucking synth bass. Chopped up and processed alto vocal layers (provided by Vilja Larjosto). Same chord progression all throughout. Background samples slowly pitch-bending down and up throughout whole song. Feels sorta like gently bouncing on a trampoline for five and a half minutes.
5. (5:41) The Level * – Slow four on the floor kicks at 100 bpm accompanied by a snappy snare and sharp hi hats. Bendy synth plucks and a mildly funky bass synth. All synths cut out halfway through for a cool syncopated percussion solo, then synths come back.
6. (4:24) Witness **** – Quivering, filtered synth chords, vinyl crackle, and restrained, staggered drums (~133 bpm). Partially vocoded vocals from Benoît Pioulard sound like he’s singing from inside an ocean whirlpool. Ambient vocal textures roll like fog and synth filters open up tentatively. The final third of the track is taken over by hypnotizing arpeggiated vocal samples (favorite moment on this album).
7. (1:41) Chatter ** – Mellow ambient track. Slowed down and sped up bassoon / clarinet samples fed through a lot of delay. Weird oscillating rustling that almost acts as percussion. Fade out at end. Acts as good transition song.
8. (5:09) Won’t Forget **** – Staggered and lively drums with a nice snappy snare (128 bpm). Fluttering woodwinds & sparse synth stabs. Villa Larjosto's vocals processed with swirling filters that never stay still. Radiating organ chords guide the other elements forward for a vocal-less "chorus." There’s lots of room for the rhythmic elements to breathe here––great balance of sound, silence, and space.
9. (6:02) Flyway * – House beat w/ samples that sound like low radar blips (120 bpm). Classic progressive house synth plucks that slowly open up. A background synth that sorta sounds like a wild sax solo 2/3rds of the way through. Sorta unremarkable.
10. (3:35) Tropopause ** – Ambient. Gritty mid-bass synth swells, oscillating chunky mechanical sounds, and building white noise as everything slowly becomes more overdriven. Culminates in a sea of distorted noise, then fades out. The beginning sounds like an airplane passing high overhead, the end sounds like you’re in the airplane’s engine.
11. (7:08) The Lift *** – Four on the floor drums, but a little bit slower and looser (112 bpm) with some swung shakers and a CHUNKY SNARE. Energetic synth arpeggios and an ominous bass. An intensely pulsating synth replaces the arpeggiating synth halfway through, and syncopated percussion layers begin to drop in and out. Drums disappear and song fades out. Feels like riding a dangerously fast chairlift over a cityscape at night.