Fennesz
Black Sea


4.5
superb

Review

by Cam EMERITUS
December 21st, 2008 | 25 replies | 8,154 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Something special.

Black Sea is Fennesz’s first solo album since 2004’s excellent Venice, and the wait has been tremendously worth it. Utilizing his usual repertoire of a laptop and a guitar, Fennesz has created what is probably his most classically-thinking album to date with Black Sea, completely disregarding the pop-like structures on his other masterpiece, Endless Summer in favor for sweeping compositions that resemble what Satie would have made in our current age. Fennesz also favors a more structured, suite-like approach with his songs here, as many tracks evaporate into one another, creating mini-epics. When tracks don’t bleed into one another, it’s usually because they are opposite in goal and emotion: the beautiful, folk-ish “Grey Scale” is remarkably distant from what follows it, which is the nine-minute cacophony of noise and glitches that makes up “Glide”. The contrast between the two adds a bit of dramatic effect to the middle of Black Sea.

Despite its more classical-ish leanings, and the wider scope of Black Sea, the record never once rids of the stark emotion of Fennesz’s other records, nor does it rid of his traditional vivid imagery. Parts of the record, such as the droning ending of “The Colour of Three”, are so striking that they put pictures of different environments inadvertently in your head. I always imagine a deserted beach when I hear the ending of the aforementioned “The Colour of Three”, and I envision a rain-drenched cabin when I hear the glitch-y guitars of “Glass Ceiling”, which is one of the more emotional and restrained tracks on the album. It’s also one of the less alien: some tracks, or “Vacuum” in particular, are so distorted by noise and foreign computer effects that they seem unnatural, however, none of the stark emotion in songs such like “Glass Ceiling” or “Gray Scale” is lost in these more electronic songs. They just sound like sad movie pieces instead of isolated personal statements.

Black Sea ends on one of the best compositions that Fennesz has ever written. “Saffron Revolution” is a sort of reprise of everything that made the first seven tracks of Black Sea so special: fluttering and quiet guitar playing, distorted and droning gasps of endless noise, and computer effects that flesh out everything else to help create a breathtaking beauty of a drone. It’s the perfect ending to a record that, in time, might be considered by me and probably many others to be perfect. Black Sea is bigger and more ambitious than any other of Fennesz’s albums, and it pleasantly turns out to be the best work he’s done yet. What’s sad and definitely unfortunate is how Black Sea flew under the radars of our local tastemakers and way too many others, because this record is definitely something special.



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user ratings (62)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
joshuatree
Emeritus
December 21st 2008



3743 Comments


album really rules

bastard
December 21st 2008



3435 Comments


obv. not as good as Steve Vai

jk nice review Mr.Wilson.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2008



15691 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

a much needed review, still trying to crack this album.

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins [AMDISCS]

magictikkleCwicked
December 21st 2008



272 Comments


Noice review, I really like this album.

joshuatree
Emeritus
December 21st 2008



3743 Comments


right

magictikkleCwicked
December 21st 2008



272 Comments


http://www.goingoutside.com/lakestates/in.html

Go outside!

joshuatree
Emeritus
December 21st 2008



3743 Comments


my county has a hundred lakes
does any county in ohio have a hundred lakes i dont think so

robin
Emeritus
December 21st 2008



4221 Comments


i like the review

magictikkleCwicked
December 21st 2008



272 Comments


Indi's directly under a great lake my man.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2008



17114 Comments


album looks cool. nice review


Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

magictikkleCwicked
December 21st 2008



272 Comments


Peer pressure my man.

magictikkleCwicked
December 21st 2008



272 Comments


When they wrote the definition of cool, they had me in mind.

cbmartinez
December 21st 2008



2525 Comments


need this

kingsoby1
Emeritus
December 21st 2008



4829 Comments


lolol bros
illim is a jerk, but he has a point... i really cant get behind that expository intro. it's cool, but a bit too much i think.

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins

joshuatree
Emeritus
December 21st 2008



3743 Comments


its actually pretty gay but i dont care

Doppelganger
December 21st 2008



3124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ugh this album has been reviewed on sputnik time to move on to something new

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2008



16071 Comments


I listened to this twice a few days ago and liked it.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

niobium
March 17th 2009



238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

better than endless summer

kitsch
April 26th 2009



5105 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

damn you took out that intro

YouAreMySilence
January 27th 2010



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Forgot how fucking amazing this is.
Bummp



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