Review: Lorenzo Senni’s Hypnotic “Pointillistic Trance” in ‘Scacco Matto’

Lorenzo Senni | Scacco Matto | Warp Records

Release Date: 24 April, 2020

In order to create an artwork that is contemporary, refreshing and new – deconstructing the elements of our artistic inspirations and the roots from which they came, can allow for us to lay the most intriguing elements of what we love most in front of us, taking them apart piece by piece – and reconstructing them into a piece that bares our own, contemporary personalities. 

For Italian musician and visual artist Lorenzo Senni, the art of breaking apart the elements of sound he finds most intriguing, and reconstructing them into something uniquely his own has his self-described auditory personality of “pointillistic trance” fit the evolution of his work effortlessly. In pointillistic artworks, the artist uses the carefully constructed, intricately detailed approach of dots in order to create a coherent whole; when looking closely, the focused combination of each point is essential to the intention of the painting.

In Senni’s first full-length release ‘Scacco Matto’ on Warp, we see that same type of dedication pointillist artists use in auditory form: for an album that shapes a playful, cyber-realm of its own – work that could easily embrace the realm of retro video games (and with this similar type of sound, often get lost in the mix) Senni’s resulting compositions are particularly focused, with each ‘point’ its own unique entity, a deconstructed ‘dot’ formed into something disciplined, distinct and hypnotic.

If we’re taking the idea of ‘pointillism’ quite literally – ‘XBreakingEdgeX‘ is perhaps the perfect demonstration of this quality; the track’s opening presents an introduction thrown immediately into full throttle with it’s intricately controlled chaos – arpeggios palpitate in adrenaline, the rapid fire of electronic bullets segueing into dramatic, almost orchestral-type chords (vampiric retro video games spring to mind, the introduction of a villain in their 16-bit castle). Breaking through the quick introductory melodrama, is a tone that cradles an intriguingly sunny disposition; the idea of deconstructing and reconstructing, pulling apart and piecing together is evident here – jovial, cut-up-and-spliced electronics dance playfully as the beat remains steady and upbeat, digital melodies sweeping in as if we’ve found ourselves at the final victory screen at the end of a 90’s Nintendo video game. A myriad of curious timbres swirl with each other in a whirlwind of colour, a fascinating trance.

Canone Infinito‘ is dreamlike in nature; the aura differs greatly from the cut-up style, controlled chaos of tracks like ‘XBreakingEdgeX’ – while the atmosphere of inhabiting the realm of a retro video game still glitters with a wonderful immersion. The track itself captures a tone cascading with honey, a candy-coated reflection teeming with emotion in its delicate, harmonious synths and rich, ethereal soundscape. The straightforward, focused and beautifully charming progression of the track brings to mind imagery of exploring colourful, unknown worlds; glimmering with a sense of joyful curiosity, the saccharine harmonies sculpted by Senni shape a whimsical realm – a delightful dive into a celestial daydream.

Stream & Purchase Scacco Matto by Lorenzo Senni
For more information follow Lorenzo Senni
Rating: 7.5 / 10

Feature Image: Lorenzo Senni by John Divola