FENNESZ – Black Sea

Touch

The return of Christian Fennesz after Venice is a fine enough outing whose title and sonic texture seem to allude to the consequences of an oil spill (as plainly shown by Jon Wozencroft’s splendid-as-ever photos on the sleeve); other reviewers have hinted at the geographical side of the issue, writing about the element of demarcation (between Europe and Asia) represented by the actual Black Sea. Independently from the acceptation, those already acquainted with Fennesz’s music are not going to stumble on too many diversities in the overall sonority of the record, as a matter of course constructed via processes of timbral decrepitude wearing away at rather clear-cut harmonic progressions (often really uncomplicated and slightly epic, as heard from here), the whole developed through “acoustic and electric guitars, synths, electronics, lloopp and computers”.

If this kind of compositional methods pays high dividends in the emotional department – indeed there are some highly riveting moments such as “Glide” featuring fellow Touch artist Rosy Parlane, a farfetched segment of soiled static threat alone worth of half the CD – it’s also apparent that the digital oxidizer from Austria seems to have definitively found his own “placid sea” to sail across, neither excessive winds of renewal nor perilous currents to follow in sight. All adeptly envisaged, scarred by a well-known computerized corrosion, even eliciting sentiment in a few instances, yet “cinematically expected” as the newest movie of an esteemed director which doesn’t introduce innovations but remains something to be examined considerately and, eventually, filed. Unless one’s in a particularly starry-eyed mood, that is.

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