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Senmuth - Tenha Vuva - 60%

ConorFynes, January 10th, 2011

Following a rare but precedented theme, Russian experimental one man act Senmuth crafts his second album about the land and historically rich region of Bulgaria. An entirely instrumental work (like much of his later product), the music here attempts to paint a picture of Bulgaria through sounds and emotions rather than any linear narrative. Although connections to the country itself are few and far between (barring the region-specific song titles), there is a very deep connection with nature in this music, made evident by the natural ambient samples used throughout the album. 'Tenha Vuva' is not a particularly interesting accomplishment for Valery Av and his Senmuth project, but it is enjoyable nontheless.

While it seems nearly impossible now for Senmuth to break out of his habit of using Middle- Eastern sounds and timbres in his music, there is certainly a greater European sound in the music here, which passes as being refreshing from the scores of albums that exclusively revolve around ancient Egypt and Arabic city-states. The biggest European sound here is that of the accordion, which makes itself very important with songs such as the upbeat 'Nesseber'. Also of importance is the harmonica, which in the album's highlight 'Съзерцание' takes the reins as the lead melody. It is also one of the few instruments here that is played live by Valery Av, as opposed to being a dry computer arrangement. While sounding fairly functional, a large problem that the execution of 'Tenha Vuva' and many other Senmuth releases is that the majority of the instruments are simply synthesized through computer, giving a pretty dry sound to what might have otherwise been much livelier music.

As a pretty experienced listener with Senmuth's work, I have to say that this man does do better music when he tries something he hasn't done much of before, or tries something new altogether. While 'Tenha Vuva' is no revolution in his sound, the subtle addition of new flavors in his music lend a fresher approach towards his music, making this an album that- while not excellent by any personal standard- is a rather enjoyable experience.