Mark Fell

Sentielle Objectif Actualité

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Collecting seven remixes of singles released earlier in 2012 on the Sensate Focus label, Sentielle Objectif Actualité is another chance for Mark Fell to work with techno as something that's as much hyperclean art object as it is invitation to dance. Not, perhaps, a new impulse, but the precision of the work Fell shows throughout has a near distinct signature even in its amalgamation of sounds from various sources. Beginning with a steady rhythmic tone that is as perfectly ultramodern (in a 1980 sense) and nervously compelling on a near-annoying level -- if that doesn't sound too forbidding -- "SOA-1" settles into a hyperactive electro experiment, with the layers of further microtonality at once grounding it in noticeable roots and making it even more alien-sounding. If Sentielle Objectif Actualité does anything, it skitters as much as it shimmies; without explicitly going down either a microhouse or a glitch path, it manages a kind of transformative collage on songs like "SOA-3." If there's something closer to a calmer formalism it might be "SOA-6," which almost could be early Orbital at points in its deceptive simplicity of an arrangement, though something about the smeared short tones as they emerge digs a little deeper. Running with all this is Fell's gift for space and silence, perhaps most dramatically on "SOA-4," where everything falls away briefly in the middle of the track before reassembling itself. The whole album is pop on the one hand but pop of a self-consciously other kind, transformed from easy hooks and direct flow into an arch blend of past and present, something where 1981, 1993, 2001, and 2012 recombine and intertwine.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
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