7 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the nearly six years since his last solo album, Christian Fennesz has tackled laptop-tethered experiments with everyone from pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto to his Fenn O'Berg bandmates Peter Rehberg and Jim O'Rourke. All of this rubs off on Bécs, a return to Rehberg's label that brings Fennesz full circle with his earliest releases, 1997's Hotel Paral.lel and what many have called his masterpiece, 2001's Endless Summer. Much like the granular pop grooves of that abstract guitar album—which references The Beach Boys for a reason—Bécs is a tug of war between traditional hooks and truly alien tones, extending well beyond torrential waves of distortion and turbulence. With the help of a few guests (including some drummers and synth sculptor Cédric Stevens), Fennesz finds a middle ground between order and chaos that's oddly catchy. One song ("Static Kings") even sneaks heavily treated vocals into its mangled mix of splashy drums and rust-encrusted riffs. Call it Endless Winter, with enough warmth from a nearby fire to keep things comforting.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the nearly six years since his last solo album, Christian Fennesz has tackled laptop-tethered experiments with everyone from pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto to his Fenn O'Berg bandmates Peter Rehberg and Jim O'Rourke. All of this rubs off on Bécs, a return to Rehberg's label that brings Fennesz full circle with his earliest releases, 1997's Hotel Paral.lel and what many have called his masterpiece, 2001's Endless Summer. Much like the granular pop grooves of that abstract guitar album—which references The Beach Boys for a reason—Bécs is a tug of war between traditional hooks and truly alien tones, extending well beyond torrential waves of distortion and turbulence. With the help of a few guests (including some drummers and synth sculptor Cédric Stevens), Fennesz finds a middle ground between order and chaos that's oddly catchy. One song ("Static Kings") even sneaks heavily treated vocals into its mangled mix of splashy drums and rust-encrusted riffs. Call it Endless Winter, with enough warmth from a nearby fire to keep things comforting.

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