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Senmuth - The World's Out-of-place Artefacts I - 40%

ConorFynes, February 4th, 2011

No stranger to ambitious projects, Senmuth's 'The World's Out Of Place Artefacts I' is the first in a four part series that partially revisits new material, but also adds a bit to Senmuth's already vast expanse of existing music. A fairly brief album, 'Artefacts I' skirts the edge of merely being an EP, but the music here is decent, and even somewhat fresh for Senmuth. Steering clear of almost all electronic sound, the music relies almost exclusively on the ethnic and ambient side of the project's work, although a few heavier rocking moments can be heard as well. The end result is something that does not stand out for Senmuth, but manages to provide entertainment worth a couple of listens.

As always, ambiance is the measure of the day here; Senmuth rarely aims for a conventional approach to songwriting, instead making somewhat strange compositions that often sound awkward to Western ears. That being said, the music on 'Artefacts I' is somewhat unsettling, featuring some shrill flute work, looming bass and percussion, and even some guitar to fill out the background. Although only being a half hour in length however, the album does feel a bit too drawn out, and a start-to-finish intent listen still comes across as being somewhat difficult.

The biggest flaw that this music has (along with many Senmuth records) is the fact that the instruments are fake; virtual emulations of real life instruments. Of course- as one might imagine- it's never as good as the real thing, instead feeling a bit as if the album is a composition demo, over a finished product. However, in terms of the sounds used, there are a few new emulations that haven't been heard too much from Senmuth, especially in an ethnic context. Of these include an intriguing 'saxophone' sound that meshes in well with the typically exotic, oriental music.

'The World's Out Of Place Artefacts I' isn't any stellar introduction to this four piece collection, but it does have a much more natural and stripped down sound to it that I find quite endearing, and with a discography as vast as Senmuth's, any noticeable change is more than welcome.

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