Sentel - Chapel 20

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  • Remember when "wonky" was almost a viable genre? Chances are, Sentel do. While the duo's music doesn't fit in with everything under that wide-ranging and largely discredited umbrella term, their deeply off-kilter music does fit somewhere on its fuzzy timeline. Sentel's debut EP obviously owes something to the likes of Girl Unit and Bok Bok, its rubbery percussion and sickeningly see-sawing melody lines leaping and tunneling like a possessed raver, but Sentel aren't quite as obsessed with clean lines and crystal-clear sonics as their UK house/bassline/whatever contemporaries. What sets Sentel apart (aside from being based in Poland, as is fledgling home Concrete Cut) is their unremittingly frantic energy, a freewheeling chaos that sounds dangerously unstable. At points in "Chapel 20," you can almost hear the intense shaking loosening and rattling all the screws and joints; it's a wonder the track doesn't simply fall apart and give way under its own quivering mass. They strike a valuable balance of cartoonish exaggeration with menacing sonics—the almost humourous moments of "Chapel 20" are offset by the thundering bass underneath. The song's sly grin quickly turns masochistic as the relentless dips and surges wring the life out of tenacious dancers. "Widow" picks up right where "Chapel 20" left off, this time armed with a more decisive thump. But if the latter was an unrestrained mess, the synth in "Widow" sounds like it's trying to destroy the entire track, bouncing around violently and stripping itself raw as it bounds through unseen climes and locales. When it returns, its exposed nerves are covered in all sorts of thick, goopy digital mess, which it proceeds to spread all over its surroundings. Sentel have tapped deep into a scene whose aesthetics are already growing predictable and engineered it into something wonderfully quirky, unique and surprisingly accessible. If these tracks don't leave you writhing on the floor, they'll at least leave you with a smile on your face.
  • Tracklist
      01. Chapel 20 02. Widow
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