Of late, my understanding of noise music has significantly transformed. No longer do I associate the non-genre with rhythmic uncertainty and melodic inanimacy, but an alternate palette of pulse and relative uniformity, as though the pressure exuded has shifted locations: violence implemented using a different set of tools. No doubt, this transformation relates to the course of certain noise musicians toward accordant territories, while my understanding of music, sound, and the treacherous noise tag follows compliantly along. It also relates to pervasion into certain regions of SoundCloud, where DJs and producers of dance music in particular are exposing extraordinarily volatile currents, mutating the realm of music explicitly and eminently.
At the fundament of the situation is the verity that noise, as a musical genre, is most effectively understood as a site for discursive negotiation — as opposed to the retrospective classification of music — thereby accommodating a “continual working-through of membership, features, meaning, and evaluation” (Abott 2011); while, in its most artless form, noise signifies the interruption of established custom. So, what better means of fulfillment than the interjection of disestablished and invalidated 90s trance.
Lorenzo Senni’s Quantum Jelly is a noise release in the best sense of the word. Distinctively, however, Senni adopts characteristics that passably reflect trance/hard-trance music of the 1990s, such as, most obviously, the echoing synth arpeggios that constitute the compositional basis of all five tracks. Each phrase, however, endures seemingly eternal magnification, deepening the entrancement and intensifying the emotional experience without reaching the breakthrough or structural climax that characterized Paul van Dyk in his heyday. Moreover, the music is both melodically and rhythmically stable, in contrast to the precariousness of Senni’s previous release, Dunno, which was accordingly more abstract.
Senni, of Milan, Italy, is already settled in the noisier landscape as founder of label Presto!?, which has collaborated with a list of contemporary experimentalists including Florian Hecker, John Wiese, Lasse Marhaug, and Lawrence English. Quantum Jelly, albeit released alternatively through Editions Mego, maintains the adventurous ethos of Presto!?. Recorded in real-time using a single computer-controlled analog modeled digital synthesizer, the minimalist sparsity and concentrated substance of the music is representative. Opener “XMONSTERX” is especially patient in its development, while the latter tracks are agitated but equally skeletal in construction. Finally, highlight track “MAKEBELIEVE” epitomizes the scheme of Quantum Jelly — that is, exposing the euphoric element of trance music at its barest, and then manipulating it.