Sensaround album



Sensa resThis band could not be better named, because even just in stereo the music surrounds you. Sounds of seeming substance loom out of a swirling mist of smaller sounds, but then dissolve, so all is ephemeral and ghostly. Just like life.

Sensaround consists of Alister Spence (Fender Rhodes, pedals), Raymond McDonald (alto and soprano saxophones) and Shoeb Ahmad (samplers, pedals). Their improvisations can amount to brief fragments or be longer journeys, such as Sense V, where McDonald’s saxophone is provided with ample cause to be so agitated by the layers of eeriness (bordering on scariness) built up by the others. Yet, like one surviving turbulent times, the horn lines ultimately arrive at a certain peacefulness.

The essential format barely changes between pieces, one’s interest being maintained by a curiosity in what happens next, rather like following a plot. Although the music would certainly still have aesthetic appeal without the saxophone, with it comes something stronger: not just a sense of humanity, but of humanity adrift in a hostile world. If you enjoy nightmares, play this in bed.