For the last 6 years, fans of Christian Fennesz’s electroacoustic music have been waiting patiently for a new solo full length album since Black Sea was released on Touch Records in 2008. Whilst there’s been plenty of collaborative music in the meantime (soundtracks in AUN and spontaneous compositions in 2012 EP On Invisible Pause, to name a couple) I/we have been hankering for some unadulterated Fennesz and finally, after recent whisperings of a new LP on the horizon, we get anticipatory pre-release single “The Liar”, and what a behemoth it is.
Said to be the spiritual successor to 2001 epic Endless Summer, Bécs already looks like it’s skipped over the incrementally mellowing music of his last few records and taken us back to his more abrasive roots with this track. Opening to crushing blasts of mangled guitar it’s already far removed from the subtlety of the synth drones of recent works as it segues into cathartic rushes of obliterating guitar noise and drone. That persistent rhythm first set forth is increasingly buried under more and more layers of warped sound, preventing the transmission of this sonic beacon by smothering it in as many false truths as possible. But despite the ferocity and the surficial menace there’s also something more, deep below, some barely audible shimmers of light drone that sing beautifully in the backfield as though to play Devil’s Advocate and bring balance to the equation.
It’s a tragic and rending piece that remains bullheaded and stubborn till the very end, riding out the storm of tempestuous noise and grinding guitar as it slowly and calmly repeats the same crunching chords from beginning to end despite the opposition. Quite the conceptual piece and quite the stunner; I never expected something this brash but I must say I’m blown away, it’s intoxicating. If this is any indication as to what the forthcoming album will hold I think we could be in for one of the best albums of the year. Stellar.