What Matters  –  Sienna (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

The greatest thing about the world, the creative world at least, moving into a post-everything sort of place is the cross-pollination that this enables. Genres are largely things of the past, technology means music has become much more about inspiration and imagination than the more practical issues which often hold it back and even geographical demarcations and cultural pressures are no longer a barrier to an artist making the music that they want. 

And given such considerations, as well as my own love of all musical things dreamlike and hazy, it will come as no surprise that I find myself loving everything about this Norway based, Japanese ex-pat who wanders between DJing, the studio and live shows, and who makes the most chilled, subtle and sensual dream-like electronica. But more than that, through this cutting edge alternative dance minimalism Sienna weaves  traditional instruments from her own cultural heritage to create the most wonderful blend of occident and orient, past and present, traditional and cutting edge. And isn’t the way to unlock the door to the future via such creative keys?

The real charm of What Matters is its ability to follow its own slightly underground path, to swerve fad and fashion, to follow its own instincts and yet arrive at a musical place that, in a more enlightened world, would make Sienna the coolest and most talked about artist of the moment. If only! And unlike her fellow artists who feel it is necessary to land a musical sucker punch, to make a big impact or supply a quick hit, throw away, sugar high to the less discerning pop-picker, this feels like part of a longer game. 

What Matters is a song, indeed a sound, which pervades rather than invades, which works its magic over time, through some sort of sonic osmosis. It latches on to the zeitgeist at DNA level and perhaps its greatest achievement might not be to make a big impression, not that it doesn’t deserve to, but how it might subtly affect and subvert the future pop/dance sound as a whole. They say that prophets are never honoured in their own town. Thankfully Sienna knows that it isn’t always about profit. *

*that joke works much better verbally.

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