If you are a fan of Scanner, Nils Frahm, or Max Richter and like your neo-classical with a small dose of experimental peppering, then Clarice Jensen’s new album on the 130701 imprint will delight and astound you.
Cellist/composer Clarice Jensen has created a concept album focused on chromesthesia, a condition where sound involuntarily evokes an experience of shape, movement, and color. This idea may sound ambitious, but Jensen brings it together with a stunning, dynamic, and sometimes delicate piece of work presented in seven movements. The movements are colors representing emotion – Liking (Green), Sadness (Blue/Green), Anger (Red), Disliking (Orange), Joy (Yellow), Fear (Pink/Purple, and Love (Deep Purple), all represented on the album artwork as a color wheel.
The movements feel like the emotions they are named after, perfectly executed with ambient sensibilities reminiscent of Brian Eno’s early work on Music For Airports, Music For Films, etc. Lush looping synths that are layered to perfection and, for some reason, never sound or feel the same way twice.
ESTHESIS follows up her critically-acclaimed 2020 LP, The experience of repetition as death, which was released as the pandemic first took hold. The sounds and emotions of ESTHESIS are much easier to relate to knowing the timeline, and there is no doubt this album will impact people profoundly. The juxtaposition of beauty and sadness radiates throughout, and one might liken it to a complex wine that opens onto the pallet the more you swish it around on your tongue.
The listening experience is enhanced when choosing the vinyl format; intimacy is forged when watching the record going around while looking at the color block album art.
The album’s seven movements could easily spin outwards into a vastly different sonic territory, but Jensen manages to keep things tight and consistent. The moods, while separate, still maintain a texture, tone, and familiarity that rings true and cohesive enough to feel connected the entire way.
This album will grow on you like moss, slowly but surely, changing with you and ever-evolving. Jensen’s trademark cello is less prominent here and blended with synths and other percolating electronics that demand repeat listening. It’s hard not to imagine epic film scenes playing out as the sounds of ESTHESIS clamber around your imagination. The question is, what will your imagination dream up while you listen?
Video For Sadness from ESTHESIS
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ESTHESIS – Track Listing