Lusine returns with a deeper look at electronic to human symbolism in Sensorimoto
It seems that Jeff McIlwain has dappled in most every form of electronic music that you can think of. The Seattle-based producer has contributed to labels from Mute to !K7, Asthmatic Kitty to Shitkatapult and beyond.
Back in 2013, he released the more pop-opaque album The Waiting Room. Now he returns with a more experimental and internal electronic landscape with Sensorimoto.
McIlwain describes the purpose behind the album. “I suppose the concept behind Sensorimotor pulls from a special kind of double meaning of the word. The literal, to me, is the integration of your senses with actions, like with birds and how they move so fluidly in flocks. It’s just fascinating how their brains are able to comprehend such quick actions collectively at once.
“The symbolic is a bit harder to put into words. I guess it’s just the concept of figuring out how much control you have over your artistic output—what types of restrictions you should place on it versus how much of it just involves instinct and intuitiveness.”
When you listen to Sensorimoto, you get lost. That to me is the intent. By using found sounds, samples of live instruments and help from some pretty influential friends, McIlwain has found a balance between the abstract and prominence. Like the realizations of your senses, pieces of this album come into focus. And just as easy, they fall out of focus.
Taking sampled work from Benoît Pioulard on “Witness” feels as comforting as it is otherworldly. Whereas, Vilja Larjosto lends her vocals to a couple songs: the deconstructing “Just A Cloud,” that would make the Flaming Lips jealous and a nod to Mouse on Mars and a more disjointed pop construct of “Won’t Forget,” acting as much a ballad as a departure from the more deeply infused swathes of soundscapes that fuel many of these tunes. Sarah McIlwain joins on “Ticking Hands” that sounds as imperfect as it does natural with its forced dust scratches and processed technology. The song is simple pop being dissected, filtered and then re-processed. It’s like everything that we know and nothing at the same time.
Enjoy this album like a fine meal and let Lusine’s electronic tastes sink in.