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Hotel Paral.lel

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Album Review

As bizarre as it was, Fennesz's previous release for Mego — Instrument EP — is made positively accessible by this, his full-length debut. Skipping across droning, machinic ambient, minimal experimental techno, and abstract, beat-oriented electronica, the album draws copiously from compositional styles the artist clearly (and thankfully) has nothing but a passing interest in. Points of reference might include, by turns, Main, Porter Ricks, Nonplace Urban Field, and Throbbing Gristle, but like other Mego artists such as General Magic and Farmers Manual, Fennesz manages to sustain a consistent assault on stylistic convention while remaining at the same time positively listenable and anything but pretentious. Although the guitar seems less present than on Instrument EP, its appearance on "Blok M" and "Fa," among others, makes for some singularly beautiful moments. The album's standout closer, "Aus," is a stunning example of post-genre complexity made more notable by how strangely catchy it is. [Mego's 2007 reissue included one bonus track.]


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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Hotel Paral.lel, Fennesz
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