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Seven Stars - EP

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Album Review

Fennesz's first full solo work since Black Sea is a short, almost tentative release, feeling as if it's a dipping of toes into the water to see what might be next. "Liminal" begins Seven Stars on one of the most polite and outright shoegazey fronts he's done yet, feeling less like careful electronic fusion than open-ended strum and exploration. It's gorgeous if a little unexpected, not quite as distinct as some of his other work in the end, though the final minute of the song takes things in an even woozier and louder direction. "July" takes a much more unsettled path from the start, feedback clash complemented slowly by growling tones and a deep-sounding background that feels like a cave with a none-too-friendly inhabitant. "Shift" is just that, turning toward slow layers of tones feeling more like a hushed organ part than any kind of noise attack, as near complete a drift drawing on Fennesz's now standard approaches as can be expected; if again not quite surprising, it's certainly enveloping. The title track concludes the EP on the gentlest and most unexpected note yet, thanks to Steven Hess' brushed drumbeats, as well as flecks of acoustic guitar sounding like something from Victorialand Cocteau Twins transformed into '90s new age meditations. It's an unexpected turn on a slightly uneven EP, but all the more striking for how it wraps it up on a promising sign.


Born: 25 December 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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Seven Stars - EP, Fennesz
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