Fenn O'Berg / Christian Fennesz

The Return of Fenn O'Berg

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The second album by this trio of hyper-technological improvisers picks up pretty much where the first left off, throwing up washes of sound with allusions to multiple genres, allowing them to mix, overlap, and mutate, resulting in an enticing, genetically altered stew. Aggressive dance beats get swamped by amorphous clouds of noise, which are in turn eroded by samples of saccharine string music broadcast in front of shattering percussive explosions. Regular rhythms are often implied, though rarely stated directly; melodic themes emerge occasionally, only to vanish into the mix. All three musicians are in sonic overdrive, leaving virtually no sonic space unoccupied, never using one sound when five will do. Descriptors or references are otherwise tough to come by. The excesses of Krautrock are there but tempered by the rigorous mix of mellow and harsh; the spatial knowledge of the Viennese electro-acoustic scene is present, but embedded in an unashamedly lush bath of sound. More than anything, the unbridled imaginations of Fennesz, O'Rourke, and Rehberg are given free rein and if they go too far once in a while, that's part of the fun. Recommended for anyone remotely interested in contemporary electronic and creative music.

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