Milan producer Lorenzo Senni has steered clear of the seedy nostalgia that other “trance revival” artists have embraced. Instead, he’s dissected the genre to form his own distinctive formula, with the concept of ‘rave voyeurism’ now being among his ideas.
Two years have passed since Senni released Superimpositions on Boomkat Editions; an LP that essentialised 90s trance euphoria into emotional synths, but held them back from ever reaching the epic drop that they hinted at. No drums – just intense ‘cloud 9’ elation.
Now, Senni makes his debut release on Warp with Persona; an EP he’s certified as the most refined and personal to date. And while there are variations, Senni’s arpeggios still swell up energetically before passing their expected release and getting caught in liminal space. Deploying Roland’s JP-8000 Supersaw, Senni floods these tracks with somewhat gratifying tension and sincere emotion. His interest in early trance memories comes from the sensual effect that spools listeners onto a journey. He’s trying – and succeeding – to execute that same effect, but in a more controlled context.
Yet, trance is a genre that’s loved for it’s hyperbolic and over-emotional essence, and that’s something this record doesn’t escape. Persona is constructed out of the shrill and dissonant elements of trance that are often difficult to listen to. The EP certainly furrows deeper into Senni’s austere mastery of trance, and I can definitely appreciate it as a critical study, but Persona fails in the sense that it’s hard to imagine anyone comfortably dancing to any of this