Sensu's career shows an undeniable upwards trajectory—not only regarding exposure but very much artistically. The Swiss producer has come far since 2017 when she debuted with the EP Lose Sight.
The early work is heavily inspired by hip-hop's slow beats and a soul-like vibe, clearly audible in her debut album Embrace, released in 2019.
One year later, Sensu was nominated for a Swiss Music Award—as the first woman who «only» produced sound, not as a singer. The jury at SRF 3 Radio wrote in its nomination: «The electro producer breaks down clichés of electronic club music and has created her own music genre.»
Jasmin Peterhans, aka Sensu, started playing the piano at seven. 2010, she began producing her own music. «I wanted to contribute something to hip-hop culture,» she said in an interview with The Pit London. But she gradually shifted towards more intricate electronica, prominently marked by the 2021 single Drawn and the EP Inner Monologue, which draws from both sonic worlds.
The transformation to one of the most lauded electronic acts Switzerland has to offer was completed with last year's EP Numéro LDN. While hip-hop vibes are still present in tracks like Both Sides, a collaboration with rapper Denyher, or Pink with Jamal Bucanon, Sensu's sound now was clearly inspired by UK garage and jungle.
After releasing Numéro LDN, Sensu shared five tracks with us that inspired her in the process, like Overmono's So U Kno. «When I first heard this song in London, I was utterly blown away by the euphoria it triggered in me. […] The details and the build-up are absolutely insane. Overmono are definitely one of the most inspiring acts in the past half-year,» she wrote then.
2023 marks another milestone: AM___PM, released on June 9th, is a small but precious four-track collection showcasing another progression.
While three of the songs have already been released as singles, the collective gathering on the EP prompts a deeper reflection on Sensu's latest work.
Opening the sonic experience is Fuse, featured in one of this year's Weekly5 editions. The track fiercely raves although the UK garage vibe is less present.
However, the gap gets filled with a constant rush of beats, foggy synthesisers, and an alarming melody. Fuse spreads excitement without indulging in cheesy cheerfulness.
Instead, Sensu's sound often sounds more melancholic and thoughtful, compellingly contrasting electronica's pumping nature.
The sombre, almost sinister atmosphere continues in Perfect Life—a collaboration with producer and multi-instrumentalist Lawrence Hart. Here, UK garage makes a comeback, referencing a beat similar to 2022's Hypnotize Me Baby, just faster and crisper.
Perfect Life advances and retracts repeatedly; sometimes, the composition is reduced to its bare minimum, only displaying the beat or the melody, making it even more impressive when Sensu and Hart open all the tabs to unleash the entire arrangement.
Clear My Mind then pushes the pedal to the metal: The hyperactive beat alongside the heavily pitch-shifted vocal sample creates a frantic, restless track, yet grounded by a deeply humming bass in the background.
However, the song's nervousness cannot drown out the fact that Clear My Mind remains the track that requires the most getting used to and is probably the EP's weakest entry.
AM___PM's only previously unreleased track closed the EP. Night Drive features an upbeat ambience; it's almost galloping in its breakbeat.
But at first, the track misleads you: «At the beginning, it appears to be a somewhat harder rave track that could be played in a dark cellar. But then the Arp sounds suddenly pull you into a kind of dream world, and it gets brighter again,» explains Sensu in the press release about one of her favourite tracks on the EP.
«The energy stays until the break and then it feels like a free fall. In the second drop, the euphoria sets in.»
The song feels like a shimmering reconciliation, a sharp handbrake turn away from the gloomy vibe AM___PM features in its other tracks.
«Night Drive is a journey, just like all the different phases of life that we go through,» says Sensu. «The energy stays until the break, and then it feels like a free fall. In the second drop, the euphoria sets in.»
With AM___PM, Sensu again highlights her entitlement as one of Switzerland's most intriguing electronic artists, one that pushes boundaries and explores new territories. Her compositions are highly detailed, precise yet playful, often unconventional and complex.
But what truly sets Sensu apart is her ability to infuse her music with genuine feelings. Whether it's the melancholic atmosphere or the euphoria of a soaring melody, her compositions are always emotionally resonant.
AM___PM is a testament to Sensu's musical skill and commitment to creating music that speaks to the soul and body.