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In a career that dates back to the '70s, Japanese pianist and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto has crafted pop songs, film scores, and experimental works. Austrian guitarist Christian Fennesz is known for crafting dense soundscapes that can be peppered with glitches while being seductively melodic. They collaborated on the EP Sala Santa Cecilia and the full-length Cendre, and in 2011 they released the double album Flumina, which has an interesting genesis. While on tour in Japan, Sakamoto opened every concert with a different piece, each in a different key. Sakamoto was aware he'd later send recordings of these performances to Fennesz, who'd then add new material. The resulting tracks don’t vary a great deal; they're generally spare, spacious, and full of nuance. (Most of the pieces are consonant, but some, such as “0405,” display a delicate dissonance.) There's enough variation on Flumina to reward close listening; for instance, “0407” has subtly distorted piano tones that are a bit macabre. Little touches like that keep things interesting.

Customer Reviews

Kudos for iTunes Store

The second track on this album did not download properly when I first bought the album (track is "0319"). I was quite upset because this appeared to be the second glitch that I had with the iTunes store centerd on a musician whose work I really like. I decided to re-download the track, despite feeling like I was going to just waste more money by downloading the "lost" track again in order to "recover" it. However, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that iTunes detected that I had already bought the track and asked if I wanted to download it for free. Point of story: I "recovered" the track, and I'd like to thank iTunes for having had a "safety net" in place in order to resolve the glitch.


Born: December 25, 1962 in Vienna, Austria

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Vienna-based guitarist Christian Fennesz is one of the 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...
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Flumina, Fennesz
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