Well, Mr. Fennesz. It has been quite the fruitful year for you if I say so, and I do. Just to do a bit of recapping on this recent season of unrestricted creativity: your first recent step back into the realm of full-length recorded output was 2008s Black Sea, which was really good by the way, a definite progression in your sound towards drone-ambience that was pulled off nicely. Following that was last years addition to the In the Fishtank series that involved a collaboration with Sparklehorse (RIP Mark Linkous). While this release didn’t appear to get much noticeable press, I personally thought it was an excellent addition to both parties’ catalogs, bringing out a creative and artistic side neither you nor Sparklehorse had delved into prior. Very recently is the resurrection of the Fenn O’Berg project, which I heard was a worthy accomplishment, possibly even better than the two previous Fenn O’Berg albums — which is saying something.
Even now you still continue on a ASR-10-powered rampage of productivity. You decided to become a member of Norwegian free-jazz electronic group Food for their most most recent release Quiet Inlet.
But while all the aforementioned projects were excellent, albeit somewhat predictable output on the Christian Fennesz checklist of releases — you know, experimental collabs, minor progressions in sound, resurfacing old projects, all released in high-fidelity, etc. — this next one caught me a little off guard: a tape release.
Fennesz has decided to follow in the footsteps of artists such as Abe Vigoda, Wolf Eyes, Daniel Johnston, and Emil Beaulieau, as well as every band between 1982 and 1993, by releasing a limited-to-500 album via cassette tape. Not quite an album per se, Szampler is actually more of a collection of unreleased samples from back in the day, reflecting pieces that would eventually come to life on his albums. It’s available via The Tapeworm.
Doesn’t sound quite befitting, but neither did the Hulk Hogan album, and that worked out for the best. Right?
[Photo: Josel Baez]