senna JMB, an artist based in Brussels, creates a very personal, vibrant, and surreal world incorporating elements of cloud rap, postpunk, IDM-influenced electronics, and experimental pop. He returns with his debut album, Purity.
Purity, deliberately concentrated on ‘songs’ as such, at times evoking the pop-meets-post-punk aesthetic of Yves Tumour or the pop-rap of Yung Lean. Together with Kiche (Ismaël Iken), the beats were closely co-produced, and while they are unmistakably punky and club-oriented, they also carry a strong sense of nostalgia and urban unrest.
The breaky beats, colorful synths, and fluffy autotune all have a contemporary digital atmosphere to them, even though Purity’s sound isn’t entirely modern. The unrelenting interplay between the frenzied and unapologetic guitars results in a sound that is reminiscent of discordant guitar tones from the ‘80s and ‘90s yet in step with today’s hybrid internet culture. senna JMB has one foot in the past, but both eyes are focused on the future.
With those guitar aspects, the eight-track album’s intention becomes even more personal because, at the age of 14, senna JMB began learning the guitar on his own. He then performed live at Pukkelpop, Best Kept Secret, and Ancienne Belgique, among other venues, as a guitarist, lyricist, and co-vocalist with the band Fornet.
Purity, has lively and upbeat productions with dreaming, ethereal, and punky moments combined with melancholia and bleakness. The genre blend of cloud-rap, post-punk, hyper-pop, pop, and electronica mashes the entire album creatively together in a nice manner.
senna JMB takes listeners on a self-referential journey through his punky, image-heavy rap singles ‘Weekend’, ‘Bossa Nova’, and ‘Lotus’. He blends memories from his childhood with views of and escapes from the present, leading him to a hubris-induced crash into a fantasized, collapsing future. The songs feature a strong bassline, ethereal synths, and guitars, lively and breaky drums, and existential lyrics in swaying rap flows.
‘North Sea’ is a darker track that features lyrics full of escape and drift, a danceable trap beat, and IDM-inspired keys. While ‘Genesis’ captures the rawness and bewildering attractions of the city, ‘Slap Back’ harmonizes a Brazilian baile funk rhythm with carefree and sunny atmospheres.
senna JMB displays a gloomy side on the songs ‘Chains’ and ‘Retro Green.’ His expressiveness is captivating and gives Purity’s unique sound new depth through enigmatic, introspective themes.
On the album, senna JMB comments, “Purity, counts eight uninhibited tracks that surf on a dreamy energy and create a rule-free world that makes it impossible for senna JMB to be pigeonholed. Its title refers to rebirth through music, to staying true to intuition, the freedom of inconsistency and change.”