Fennesz | 03_02_00 Live at Revolver, Melbourne

Touch | CD

At a guess 'Live at Revolver' was recorded at this year's 'What is Music' festival and amounts to a snap-shot (at just over 16 minutes) of a single performance by Christian Fennesz, one of the laptop participants. Fennesz is known to source many of his sounds from guitar, recording straight to hard-disc, and although he often gives free rein to the the laptop's facility as a noise-generator he tempers his sound with ghostly melodies in which fragmentary guitar chords are often discernible just below the surface.

By the time we join this performance the kindling sticks are crackling. Fennesz improvises a stunted melody for some minutes in which he stops and unstops organ-like notes in a somewhat random fashion, managing to make his presence without exactly blowing the barn doors away. At a point about half-way through this recording, however, after his earlier activities have fizzled out in a mild gust of radio interference, Fennesz chooses to drop a quite stunning slab of guitar-viscera into the left channel. One can imagine the bar sitters grabbing for their earplugs, hairs standing up on the backs of necks, as one onslaught follows another of quite delicious melodic noise. The storm subsides and Fennesz finally bears his listeners aloft on a turbulent carpet ride of uplifting chords and ionic interference.

I wouldn't exactly describe this as an essential piece of Fennesz (for that look to his 3" CD on Tanz*Hotel 'Il Libro Mio' in particular, or his earlier full-length on Touch) but then, it doesn't exactly present itself as being that either: it comes in a plain white card sleeve bearing a CDR catalog number and monochrome artwork which shadows that of his earlier Touch CD. For such humility this CD rather recommends itself.


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