Friday, 15 February 2008

BLUE MOON (musick by request)

FENNESZ
LIVE IN JAPAN

Original Issue: 2003 Headz ( HEADZ 10)


Margot-meter: 4 moons / 5

1. Live in Japan

from Drowned In Sound:

Christian Fennesz has been ploughing a lonely furrow for quite some time now. I say lonely only because of the stunning uniqueness of his work; while laptop musicians are now a dime a dozen, Fennesz' music transcends the usual pitfalls of such a genre, eschewing technical gimmickry in favor of a distinctly human approach to digital sound.

When Fennesz uses a laptop, he does so not to show off his no doubt impressive collection of hardware, nor to create sounds that are deliberately, self-consciously, difficult or abrasive. Instead, he uses the micro-editing possibilities of his technology to expand the emotional palette afforded him by more traditional instruments.

On Fennesz' last original solo release, 2001's Endless Summer, he combined dense, manipulated digital static with calm washes of broken guitar and the occasional stab of warm, breathy organ; it's a fantastic record, certainly one of the best of the recent slew of laptop-based releases, and it achieves its greatness with nary a regular rhythm in sight.

Live in Japan, however, goes some way to exceeding the emotionally sharp Endless Summer, protracting that records oscillations to a single, 45 minute ocean of sound. It's impossible to convey just how dense, how thick, this tangle of living, breathing sonic threads really is; in the space of a mere 20 seconds, Fennesz seems to reference Ambient, the radio music of John Cage, his contemporaries, while simultaneously creating a deep sense of space within the fizzes and the crackles. More than anything, Fennesz seems interested in the fallability of technology; his music explodes the innocuous digital sheen that micro-processing is often prone to, allowing error, disassembly, and the odd aural double take to permeate his set.

It's quite easy, of course, to forget that this was all conjured during the space of one 45 minute live set in Toyko at the beginning of this year; not one electronic shudder has been tampered with since. It's an incredible achievement, a genuine plethora of sound, fury and fragility, by turns haunting and exultant. Fennesz seems determined to show us the ghost in the machine, and in the process he may well alter our perception of what "experimental" and "popular" music can be.

10 comments:

Margot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

thanks again for the continuous universe expanding sonic incantations....

Margot said...

Thank you, sweetie!
Pure energy for me!!!

kungfukoala said...

Beautiful 3 dimensional sound experience. What a beautiful world this music invokes. I look forward to where it will take me after listening to the music over a longer period of time.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

pure good sounds , thanks

Anonymous said...

thank you for this so much - i admit i wasnt sure if you could do it... i am amazed but even more amazed of this musician... once again thank you so much !!!

superjazz said...

super gooood!!
thanks

Anonymous said...

Beautiful recording,
Thanks

locust said...

beautiful stuff, thank you so much margot.

cpm said...

I don't usually dig live recordings but Mr. Fennesz really makes it work for him.