Fennesz
Endless Summer


4.5
superb

Review

by ValiumMan USER (17 Reviews)
June 24th, 2007 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Endless Summer is an outstanding achievement in both its structural clarity and effortless mixing of abrasive noise and beautiful melodies.

If you’ve been digging into electronica and its various deviations a bit, there’s a fair chance you’ve (accidentally?) stumbled across some so-called noise music (Merzbow, etc.) and there’s an even fairer chance you deleted it from your cerebral (and possibly computer) hard drive as fast as possible, thinking “why the ***ing hell would anyone actually want to listen to this ***?”.

Austrian laptop musician and guitarist Christian Fennesz, who looks like Blixa Bargeld and is an active recording artist since 1995 is usually associated with this most far-out and demented form of industrial music. But like most of what’s in magazines or on t3h int4rw3bz, this labeling is utter bull***. While it might be true for his “earlier” stuff (and even that wasn’t just senseless distortion orgies), his recent recordings are more mellow than the majority of non-new-age (yikes!) electronic music currently floating around. 2001’s Endless Summer (the Beach Boys reference is fully intentional) was the beginning of all that.

Recorded and mixed using only “a guitar and a computer”, as Fennesz himself claims, Endless Summer is a wonderfully simple and sincere record. No complicated, geekish, hard-to-discern high concepts and theories, no hacksawed samples, no near-clinical abstractions. It is what it is, just layered, lazily-strummed guitars treated with often glitchy textures. But just because the structure is straightforward, doesn’t mean this is a simplistic piece of musical wallpaper made for homes of burnt-out businessmen. The arranging and composing job is very cleverly and carefully done and makes this an engrossing, almost gripping listen.

The relatively brief album opener, Made In Hong Kong is still a bit on the noisy side and feels like Fennesz is finally banishing his old industrial demons to be able to have a go at this new organic sound in all its richness. But the following title track already exemplifies his unique approach in an excellent fashion, ornamenting a simple (acoustic?) guitar chord progression with all kinds of reverb and delay effects, as well as other, more undermixed guitars and an arsenal of clicks and pops that would make Autechre proud. The great thing is, it never diminishes into an orgy of abrasion. All the noises seem very carefully placed and almost naturally inegrate into the summery, relaxing melodies. Yup, that’s right folks, Fennesz actually manages to unite the ununitable and make it seem like abrasive noise and poppy melodicism have always been the best friends in sound wonderland.

Individual tracks aren’t really that important in this fantastic sonic fusion, the album just kinda takes you away to some sunny, peaceful place by the sea and drops you off at the end, without ever changing moods. That being said, this is wonderful music to just sit back, fill your head with, and daydream to. Caecilia strikes me as particularly serene though and the somewhat-abrasive Before I Leave stands out as the “worst” track, but still not even close to “bad” enough to wake you up from your daydream.
Once the end of the almost dance-ish and slightly repetitive album closer Happy Audio puts your feet back on the harsh ground of reality, you’ll feel refreshed, inspired and ready to start something new (at least I do), which is exactly what a great “summer” album should do. Relax and envelop you at the same time.

So in that sense, have a nice summer (I wish it really WAS endless),
Valiumman ;)



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user ratings (101)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
MeowMeow
June 24th 2007


662 Comments


This sounds like some nice relaxation music. I might check it out. Good review. /votezorz.

Zebra
Moderator
June 24th 2007


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is good background music but I just can't get into the whole "beautiful noise" style that he was going for.

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2007


6100 Comments




Abaddon2005
June 24th 2007


684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice to see that someone has reviewed this, it's a pretty good album

blackmilk
June 24th 2007


584 Comments


Valium, if you like this you should get Cendre.

ValiumMan
June 24th 2007


493 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have that on my computer, but haven't got around listening to it yet. Time to sink my teeth into it, I guess.

descendents1
June 24th 2007


702 Comments


I heard Venice was really good too dude.

Zebra
Moderator
June 26th 2007


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I just downloaded Venice out of boredom/interest and I think that it's a lot better then this. When Fennesz is on his A game, he is brilliant but some of his songs are just unlistenable.

AlienEater
June 26th 2007


716 Comments


This album is incredible

Shadow17
March 12th 2010


67 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

INCREDIBLE! Might be my favorite ambient album of all time. Either way, Fennesz owns.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 16th 2010


15082 Comments


great album

SlowlyFallingAwake
February 28th 2011


78 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

blackmilk, I agree. Cendre is mind-blowing.

trickykd
April 6th 2011


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I would say that this is the most likable album that he has done by far... Very peaceful... Though I would still recommend most of his other albums and at least certain songs off of the others--this would be a good intro album to help others discover awesome music...

p.s. It is best to listen to an album before rating it... Just saying...

mindleviticus
June 20th 2012


8330 Comments


I love this album...but the album cover doesn't fit the mood of this album at all :P

mindleviticus
June 22nd 2012


8330 Comments


very very very good :D

mindleviticus
June 22nd 2012


8330 Comments


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE change the album cover to the new one. I HATE this old album cover.

Cygnatti
September 16th 2013


22293 Comments


this is absolutely lovely. :]

Digging: Jerry Lee Lewis - Live at the Star Club, Hamburg

conesmoke
November 5th 2013


5288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is the soundtrack to a group of quantum computers having a sensual orgy in space.

Kman418
September 13th 2014


11338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wow this reviews horrible lol

Digging: Xiu Xiu - Fabulous Muscles

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2014


21588 Comments


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE change the album cover to the new one. I HATE this old album cover.


The album cover for the vinyl re-release is sweet, it's the same as this but with a black background and looks so much better. Looks better than the other "new one" that I think you're referring to as well.

Digging: Foxes in Fiction - Ontario Gothic



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