Fennesz - Seven Stars (CDEP Touch)

Fennesz first solo outing since Black Sea is sadly only an 18 minute EP. However it’s 18 minutes of really emotive, beautiful music.

The four tracks were recorded earlier this year (though two are re-workings of pieces already written) and show you the range of Fennesz abilities as a writer, arranger  and musician.

The EP starts with “Liminal” one of the pieces that had already been written and was being played live. It’s a rather melancholy guitar based piece. The guitar quite heavily distorted though still sounding rather beautiful. It’s accompanied by some string sounds and what sound like environmental noises in the background.  It puts me in mind of Mark McGuire’s recent album “Get Lost”.

“July” follows and whilst the guitar is still there it’s certainly less obvious and the additional computer generated sounds are more to the fore. It’s a much darker harsh sounding piece almost veering into a noise track in parts. It’s comprised of more random sounds and with a less obvious song like structure to it than “Liminal” has. It’s perhaps more “Black Sea” to Liminal’s “Endless Summer”.

The third and longest piece “Shift” is a slow drone type piece based around organ and string sounds. Very reminiscent of perhaps minimal pieces from the 70s early Tangerine Dream or maybe it’s Charlemagne Palestine I’m thinking of.  It’s not a piece that changes much but to be honest it doesn’t need to it’s extremely captivating and my only criticism of it would be that it’s too short.

The album closes with “Seven Stars”. Very much in a similar vein to “Liminal”. It’s a gentle relaxing guitar based piece with a few percussive noises and occasional ambient noises and with, for the first time I believe on a Fennesz track, drums. The drums (played by Fennesz friend Steven Hess) add rather well, not being too intrusive or doing much more than marking time and just being there to help move the track along.

This is a release that’s been well worth waiting three years for. I hope we get another album (perhaps a bit longer would be good) a lot sooner. DB

Contact: www.touchmusic.org.uk