Music Reviews




Christian Fennesz is spearheading a revolution in music. The argument against the “life” and organic nature of digital music is no longer valid. The laptop is as capable an instrument as your guitar, drums, or bass. Indeed, computer music takes on the challenge presented by John Cage when he first prepared his piano. Cage changed the way the piano sounded by inserting objects between its strings, and so changed its nature. No longer was it simply 88 keys attached to long strings; it was capable of becoming a miniature percussion orchestra at the fingers of an apt and courageous musician. In the same way, computer musicians write programs in order to manipulate sound. They are capable of reducing a sound to its simplest element, a mere conglomeration of sine wavers, and rebuilding it through complex DSP (Digital Sound Processing).

I mention all of this because many would be apt to miss the beauty of this recording. Beauty does not imply melody however. The depth and intricacies of +475637-165108 betray a reunification with nature, an obsession with complexity.

Actually trying your hand at creating this sort of music helps to appreciate it. The amount of space that Fennesz has imbued this recording with is amazing. The stereo image is constantly shifting and reinventing itself, while the sound jitters about. The fifth track (none of the tracks have titles) is oddly serene, drenching the listener in a flood of distortion. You can almost see the colors formed by the diffracting light.

This edition of the CD is wrapped up in an oversized cardboard sleeve, which is adorned with the photography of Jon Wozencroft. The photography is of lush green landscapes, which complements the music nicely, I think.

Touch, c/o Dutch East India,,,

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