Fennesz | Field Recordings

Touch | CD

Not field recordings per se, rather an attempt to cast the spotlight onto some of Fennesz' other, perhaps less well known, activities - particularly his remixes - and cast a backwards glance over several notable contributions to compilations that might otherwise have slipped beneath the radar.

The reproduction of his critically acclaimed 'Instrument' EP (originally released on 12" vinyl on Mego in 1995) is reason alone to own this compilation. As if that weren't enough, Touch have generously drawn together a host of remixes and contributions to a number of compilations making 'Field Recordings' an indispensable release.

'Menthol', from 'Clicks & Cuts Vol. 2', shimmers and throbs in true Fennesz fashion - heat haze electronics, scattered tonal fragments suspended in molten glass. 'Betrieb', remixed from Ekkehard Ehlers' album of the same name, is four minutes of swirling chords, distended and set atop low end buzz. 'Surf', from Ash International's 1997 compilation 'Decay', a shuddering cascade of multi-timbral hiss unwinding slowly but surely...

Fennesz' restrained electronics are the digital equivalences of Morton Feldman's gently-unfolding aural soundscapes or Mark Rothko's captivating canvasses. He resists the urge to over-produce, building careful compositions which are beautifully understated. His light touch, nuanced ebbs and flows, and distinctive voice unquestionably seductive.

Closing with 'Codeine', his contribution to the remix/version album accompanying Stephan Mathieu and Ekkehard Ehlers' 'Heroin' re-release on Orthlorng Musork, is perfect. Musical narcotic you'd willingly become addicted to.

[CM]



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