Sensate Focus (Mark Fell) – ‘Sensate Focus 1.666666666’ 12″ [Sensate Focus / Editions Mego]

As the most widely acknowledged part of an amazing catalogue, Sensate Focus has given Mark Fell a whole new fan base outside of the eclectic Wire reading folk we call friends. While house music newcomers seem to be going more and more experimental, the multiplatform artist Mark Fell originally earned his stripes through sonic explorations as one-half of SND with partner Mat Steel. Since the pairings last full LP in 2009, Mark Fell’s solo work went in to overdrive and cemented a unique legacy in sound art and opening up possibilities in electronic music.

In 2010 came a personal favourite in the form of Periodic Orbits Of A Dynamic System Related To A Knot – a fifty minute epic (cut in two and pressed with one track per side) that flies by without a chance for break, and without a phoned-in moment. The very definition of broken-down computer music, it’s a hectic listen that varies between 170bpm floorwork and stripped down machine chords. That record became the benchmark for what I hold a lot of new music too.

Sensate Focus was created as Fell’s outlet for more structured house and techno styles. Really nice plates all of them, and all doused with unique Fell production touches. Collaborations started at number 2, with an SND reunion as Mat Steel joined co-production duties, and then with plate 2.5 which guested Winston Hazel aka Warp’s Forgemaster.

End of this month Sensate Focus 6 officially drops, and it’s the best of the series to date. This time around Fell’s sharing production duties with Vladislav Delay, and the two rinse in elements of footwork and even return to some of what made Periodic Orbits… an all time favourite. Short samples stutter and drive the track like early Shake work, while the rhythm bounces underneath it is just as unrelenting if not seemingly more structured like a club working. Think RP Boo being remixed by DJ QU.

Sensate Focus 1.6 isout June 24th, and as usual the tracks are unnamed, just sides labelled ‘X’ and ‘Y’. No wordy press release from the chaps at Editions Mego, but previews below; not one to sleep on.