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Field Recordings: 1995-2002
Reviewed by: tobias c. van Veen

dear Christian Fennesz, (a love letter):

letters of tenderness to your particle caresses, to your subconscious synaesthesia that runs fingers down my spine. I realised I could only write you a love letter when, after licking my words, and readying those wounds (love bites from that fateful night I took you on the subway!), I could not come without your consent. You held me ready, and in waiting, your throbbing sound coursing through my body... Because here, you play your Instrument (remember that long lost night on the Rhine? when we sung in Italian to a wall of water?). Yes, that ancient—1995!—Mego 004 12", so desperately desired by so many, you have finally given it over, percussive swellings, staccato over your moaning guitar, processed through erotic warmth of laptop circuitry... it was just a breath of what was to come, wasn't it?

dear Fennesz, it's all about feeling. About feeling you and you feeling me. About sound playing a layering of so many parts, so many melodies in that noise, deep in rubbing textures, that the sonic itself thins itself out into feedback, hitting the repetition that draws blood from skin. Here, and like Nietzsche told me late one night through the whispers of Derrida, my whole body becomes an ear.

I think I've heard you, Fennesz. But I still don't understand you. That picture I keep of you on the mantlepiece, with your sunglasses and open white shirt, that night after we painted the tones in multicolours and your acidic smile turned sour—you're dangerous, Fennesz, and I love you for it. Even when the ocean rears its ugly hydra-head behind your back, even then your lovely fingers will keep plucking. "Fennesz is a composer of electronic music for electric guitar," I read in the Saturday morning papers. But you're so much more than that. You're mysterious. And they got it all wrong, anyways (they always do). They said that everything prior to Endless Summer was just philosophical treatises, and that Endless Summer was the poetic exploration...but it's really just the opposite, isn't it? Philosophy, philo Sophia, has always been about love. With Endless Summer you just had to spell it out a bit more clearly for those still not getting it—that love can also involve being a little tied up.

I dreamt about us swimming in that processed ocean of echoes and feedback chambers, of sound so thick and warm that you could breath it in. And we do breath it in, don't we? Sound is air-waves, after all, and with your compressed carbon copy close to my mouth I suck in all you have to offer. It's all there in the "Surf," when the delay closes in, like when you tumble in the white and get pounded down into the wash, body broken and huddled in the foreign water and then, propelled up and out, towards air, breathing the roaring of the ocean: you're alive I am alive you yell...and out for the next wave

"rock" "electronic" – such silly terms, aren't they, as I hold you close—as we all do, out here, grabbing your sonic body and ripping it to shreds, carne vale, throwing of the flesh . I'm sorry, Fennesz, that it had to come out this way. And you are too, at the end, when you left for Stephen and Ehlers to make beautiful Musork. But we'll always have our memories of those days spent 'in the field,' those wonderful recordings from the hotel, and that unforgettable summer lost in the surf...


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