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Sensum - Nocturnal Transmissions

Article posted by TweeKUniT on 11th Jul 2005

This is the long awaited debut album release from Aussie artist Russ Newton aka SENSUM (aka Nokturnum). Having numerous releases on V/A compilations including ZMA's "A Day After..." and "Battle Royal" and Nervine Record's "Stimulus CD", this album has followed through with some absolutely top quality driving progressive from this Sydney based artist.

Having been a fan of Sensum music up until this release, in particular with "Lets Turn On" (A Day After...) being amongst my favourite tracks, Nocturnal Transmissions on ZMA has come through with the goods. This is the ideal music to grab attention from a dancefloor with intelligent progressive with a determined, inspired sound. His music is top quality, focused and energetic with refined production, crisp, tight, snappy & intense percussion, a constant driving groove, and just the right amount of twisting synths, stabs, melodies & arpegiators.

This album is is the perfect cross over between intellgient driving night time progressive and sunrise/day time uplifting sets. Many people (probably including Russ himself) class it as night time sound but I am convinced it works around the clock - I have seen it played night and day, both indoor and out, every time noticing the energy levels raise a notch on the dancefloor.

Having also seen Sensum's live sets, I think this is a world class artist that we are going to hear a lot more from, and I very much look forward to future releases.

The Tracks

1. Going Mad (141bpm)
A nice opening to the album - the intro dropping into the first beats of the album perfectuly sums up Sensum's sound in my eyes - a no nonsense build up into an energetic kick and sound that demands attention with attitude. An almost haunted, minor background feel to this track pushed along with stompy rhythms that layer up nicely and build throughout. Nice use background vocals that merge in seemlessly with the track.

2. Ghost Logic (139bpm)
A cruisy, bouncey track, riding the night time Sensum progressive wave, this track winds through the night leading the listener through a journey of progressive sound. Very nice delayed lead stabs as well as cleverly crafted percussive grooves create good movement.

3. Rollersmokers (142bpm)
With a lower bassline, 'Rollersmokers' gets down to business. A minor feel & constant energy with a very nice subtle melodic riff threaded through the track takes it on a journey.

4. Lunar Activity (144bpm)
Picking up the pace here, this is the more driving side of Sensum's sound, the ideal peak in pace and energy of a night time progressive set. A running bassline and faster percussion, opens up towards the end letting in a bit of light but not for a second holding back on the driving energy & pace

5. Afrika (138bpm)
One of my favourites on the album, this track with it's "It Began in Afrika" sample is gold. One of the things I love about this album are the subtly different feels coming through but all with the very obvious Sensum interpretation. "Afrika" highlights this - with a tribal feel, syncopated percussion, and 'outback' desert feel pads, this track puts across a very outdoors feel. This track brings back the pace from the last track and get straight into the groove. This will bring knowing smiles to the dancefloor with the extra hint of groove but the always rock steady Sensum rhythm

6. Tri-polar (135bpm)
Following the flow of the album this track slows things down again, and relies on the hypnotic, syncopated driving groove to create energy in this track. A snappy snare and punchy feel to the percussion with some VERY nice open progressive sweeps, pads and delayed stabs drive this home. The break down at 5:52 which twists around into a SOLID drop in at 6:38 is a winner in my books, only to step up in percussion a notch again a few bars later - this is the type of sound that will sweep smiles across a festival dancefloor

7. The Visionary (141bpm)
Picking the pace up again! Elements of this track remind me of previous Sensum releases with that unique driving groove and percussion that are ideal for intelligent musical journeys. Opens up towards the end with some nice epic strings and 'feel good' synthy pads & stabs.

8. Eardrumming (142bpm)
With a rolling bassline, this track has style. More tweaked acidy sounds decorate the soundscape of this track with this being the perfect example of the hybrid night/day sound I mentioned earlier. It's almost a night foundation, with 'feel good', uplifting riffs & elements. A great combination.

9. Pokerface (138bpm)
Finishes off the album with style, just as it would a final track of a party. An open, epic synthy track with a no-nonsense trademark Sensum kick & bassline. Some beautiful vocal, strings & pads create a very special sound perfectly suited to ending a long journey with some magic mysterious, and yet epic sounds

Favourite Tracks: 1, 2, 5, 8

Review: aDaMT