Fennesz: Black Sea
[Apologies. For a minute there, I lost myself]
Fennesz is one of those artists I continually rediscover. I find it hard to keep up with his various collaborations, but endeavour to more effort when his solo releases come into view. Hence with the appearance of Black Sea I’ve suddenly found myself plundering his back catalogue and re-realising the intimate joys of this Austrian and his beautiful weirdness. By his own admission he uses ‘acoustic and electric guitars, synths, electronics, llopp and computers’. The penultimate in this list is some sort of software for live improvising. Well, that’s me standing corrected as I thought it some sort of typo on the album notes.
I’d imagine (but have little proof – the beauty of blogs) that all sorts of clever things have been said about this album in places like The Wire, no doubt involving references to ‘rhizomes’ and ‘bodies-without-organs’ (hence why I stopped reading it – I like to keep the spheres of production separate if at all possible). Without trying to compete, however, I do have a responsibility to say something about what is on show here. Black Sea is certainly darker than previous outputs, particularly and obviously Endless Summer, his most accessible and best, but it’s no less striking for it. Guitars alternate between being intimately plucked and buzzed through laptops producing a listenable electro-acoustica that does enough to challenge entrenched sensibilities. He’s best in his more ambient outings such as ‘Glide’: here the hum builds and envelopes to the point where you’re suddenly aware of it as warm and affectionate, only for some random and more chilling discordance to erupt knocking you off kilter. This is where I find my love of Fennesz: he produces the sort of music that carries you off with a sense of security only for it to be made dubious and provisional.
If I were a London-type I’d be off to see him at the South Bank’s Ether 09 festival, which also includes the brilliant Mouse on Mars and Plaid. However, I’m not, so I won’t. I’ll just put Black Sea and other Fennesz outputs on repeat and imagine myself there.
Got to move on (from Endless Summer)
Over here then to buy it