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CD Feature/ Cenotype: "Origins"

img  Tobias

Many artists award an eponymous title to their debut. Lenny B. Of Cenotype has called it “Origins”. The difference in perspective could hardly be more obvious: A self-centered egoshow on the one hand and the baring of one’s influences on the other, with all of the immediate criticism that may evoke. Standing close to one’s musical roots, after all, is unpopular and often considered the antipole of creativity – a strange point of view in a world which is rapidly converging and in which everything is based on something else almost by default. And yet, the result of Lenny’s soulsearch has not resulted in a collection of mere tributes but in a razorsharp walk on the edge.

According to its author, “Origins” tell a story and no good one is complete without a preface. Initially, these tracks were to be spread out over two different projects and two full-length albums, each one with a closed, proprietary mood. In the end, the will to create something out of the ordinary, against the grain and with a system referencing itself as much as others took the upper hand. Much more than merely fulfilling the superficial demands of a crowd hungry for the repetition of what has worked in the past, this record now tries to find a language of its own by accepting that tastes can not be bound by terminologies. It is comfortable with accepting that the answers to the question of what constitutes its core philosphy are possibly not yet there – but that searching for them may still result in something worthwhile. Opening the show with a stretched-out Industrial soundscape and waiting almost eleven minutes before delivering the first rhythm on a label which has made beats its mantra certainly takes some courage. But is not an act of wilfull opposition, but rather of demanding attention, concentration and the use of all senses: This project needs to be regarded as a unit of different media, as a hybrid between tracks which work on their own and their greater purpose within the structure of the album’s red thread. In the wake of the monolithic intro, metronomically stomping bass drums, minimal percussion artillery and finely woven, subcutaneous drones take over, but their relentless forward thrust is intermittently broken by surreal ambient prisms. While the general mood is one of bleakness and slight unease, the sudden major harmonies of “IS” at least temporarily reveal a more romantic and even fragile side.

It is hard to argue with the claim that the drastic and open continuity breaks take the flow out of the individual segments. That, however, is not how the album wants to be listened to anyway. Lenny B, and this may come as a somewhat surprising realisation by someone who is still very much active as a DJ, has come to the conclusion that a studio recording can never fully emulate a live set nor should it function as a mere reproduction of a night at the disco. Instead, it needs to transcend its origins and find a new form as well as new modes of expression. That is where he is heading and that is where we will gladly follow.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Cenotype
Homepage: Hive Records

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