Sensient: It’s psy, but not as you know it

Since its inception in 2003, Melbourne-based independent record label Zenon has been consistent in quality releases, showcasing artists of progressive psychedelic styles both in Australia and abroad. Label signings like Sun Control Species, Shadow FX, Krumelur, Tetrameth and Zenon founder Sensient all eschew the cliched psy-trance sounds in favour of more subtle, distinct but recognisably psy sonic signatures. Sensient is one of the local headliners at the massive Rainbow Serpent Festival, the 4 day open air trance event being held this weekend from Friday January 26th to Monday January 29th. ITM caught up for a chat.

How has your new album, ‘AntiFluoro’, evolved the Sensient sound?

‘AntiFluoro’ was officially released in mid-November. I would say that the overall production quality is fatter and cleaner than my last album, and that it is more musically complex than my previous releases – perhaps a bit glitchier, techier. I’m really happy with the flow of the album from start to finish, it’s a nice journey I reckon.

I’ve also heard you’ve been writing more glitchy breaks, like ‘Multiplier’ that features on ‘Pressure Optimal’?

Yeah, I’ve written 3 or 4 more tracks in that style! I love that sound, as much if not more than psy-trance, but I haven’t done any for a while now. I had some interest from a couple of well-known DJs and acts in breaks circles, but nothing came from it. I’d love to get some of my breaks pressed to vinyl!

Are there any other styles you’ve been tempted to dabble in?

For sure, though just haven’t had the time. Would love to try my hand at some f*cked-up IDM and glitch stuff.

How would you characterise your relationship with sound? What inspires you to produce music?

I just love anything that sounds futuristic, twisted and bent. Stuff that my brain can’t process on the first listen, that’s what tweaks me! As for inspiration, I’ve got a good crew of close producer friends that inspire me and I bounce off like Tetrameth, Shadow FX and Sun Control Species.

A recent release on your Zenon label, Krumelur’s ‘Paramoral’, has the most minimal tracks produced under the “psy” banner that I’ve ever heard. Considering how the style has evolved and the directions it has taken in the past 5 years compared to the 5 years before that, where can you see it headed in the future?

I find that the “psy” banner is becoming more and more vague. Thankfully I’m hearing a big variety of sounds and styles being played at some “psy” parties these days – there is a real crossover thing happening right now. Personally I try to steer clear of labels like “psy-trance” because I feel it doesn’t relate so much to what I do. I’m not sure how I would define the new sound, but that can only be a good thing. The idea for me personally, and for Zenon too, is to take elements of many different styles of electronic music, and hopefully fuse it into something new and fresh. It would be good if more producers took this approach and were open to experimentation, because a lot of psy-trance music these days all sounds the same to my ears.

What’s next to come on Zenon?

Well there’s my album of course, and then after that will be the Shadow FX CD – another Aussie act – and an all-Australian compilation showcasing the minimal, progressive sounds we’ve got going on here.

Sensient appears at the Rainbow Serpent Festival this weekend, playing alongside a huge array of international and local artists, including Ticon, Joti Sidhu, Pixel, Atmos, D-Nox, Loopus In Fabula, Alex Smoke, Kasey Taylor and much more. Check out the ITM Festival Page HERE for more info.