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Christian Fennesz

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  • Born: Vienna, Austria
  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Vienna-based guitarist Christian Fennesz is one of the city's many artists associated with the noted Editions Mego label, which releases mostly free-form ambient and experimental electronica. Similar in some respects to the work of Seefeel or Experimental Audio Research, Fennesz's six-string soundscapes are both darker than the former and more complex and intricate than the latter, combining dense, multi-layered sheets of treated guitar and synth with thin, odd-metered electronic percussion and engaging sampler work. A former member of Austrian underground experimental rock group Maische, Fennesz has also collaborated with Mego artist Peter "Pita" Rehberg on his Seven Tons for Free CD, as well as performed ensemble pieces for conceptual and multimedia art installation. His first solo work for Mego, the Instrument EP, was released in 1996, and featured four tracks of stunning, uncompromising ambient and electro-acoustic music, combining elements of experimental electro/techno with heavily treated guitar and electronics. Hotel Paral.lel followed in 1997, and three years later Fennesz returned with Plus Forty Seven Degrees 56' 37" Minus Sixteen Degrees 51' 08" and Music for an Isolation Tank. Endless Summer, released in 2000, brought him back to the Mego fold, while a string of releases for Touch and Type -- Venice (2004), the Ryuichi Sakamoto collaboration Cendre (2007), Black Sea (2008), and Something That Has Form and Something That Does Not (2010) -- significantly raised his profile and solidified his reputation as a premier experimental musician. Yet another collaborative release, Knoxville (Thrill Jockey, 2010) was an improvised live recording with drummer Tony Buck and fellow guitarist David Daniell. Along with these collaborations, proper albums came in the form of 2010's Szampler and 2014's Bécs, an album that saw Fennesz wrapping his electro-acoustic processing around live drums and modular synthesizers.