Mastered by Denis at Skye on 28th September 2008. Vinyl cut by Jason at Transition on 8th October 2008. Photography and design by Jon Wozencroft. Christian Fennesz used acoustic and electric guitars, synths, electronics, lloopp and computers. All tracks composed, performed, recorded and mixed by Christian Fennesz at Amann Studios, Vienna and C-street, Paris except “The Colour of Three” by Christian Fennesz and Anthony Pateras and “Glide” which was composed and performed by Rosy Parlane and Christian Fennesz (recorded live in Paris and then edited and mixed at Amman Studios).
“Black Sea” is the much-anticipated new album from Christian Fennesz, his first since “Venice” [Touch # TO:53, 2004], about which US magazine Stylus wrote:
“Fennesz does with sound what Stan Brakhage did with film, altering its very fabric and texture, employing disorder and error as forms of communication and expression. He forces you to learn a different method of perception and interpretation, to look beneath the chaos that seems to govern the movements of life and find the patterns beneath.” [Nick Southall]
Fennesz's career has come a long way since “Instrument”, his debut for Mego in 1995, and his first solo album “Hotel Paral.lel” which followed in 1998. “Endless Summer” [Mego, 2001] brought him to a much wider audience and “Venice” underlined his mastery of melody and dissonance. His songs usually embody the skilful application and manipulation of dense sonic textures with a genuine feel for the live, and real-time.
Black Sea features guitars that rarely sound like guitars; the instrument is transformed into an orchestra. Fennesz lists the elements used to make the compositions: “Acoustic and electric guitars, synthesizers, electronics, computers and live-improvising software lloopp.”
On “Glide”, Fennesz duets with Rosy Parlane (NZ), whose work is also released on Touch. Fennesz also teams up with eMego artist Anthony Pateras (AUS), whose prepared piano features on “The Colour of Three”. Fennesz pushes his work into a more classical domain, preferring the slow reveal to Venice’s and Endless Summer’s more song-based structures.
Jon Wozencroft’s artwork makes visible this carefully hidden world resting beneath the surface of “the first impression”. A series of shots, taken in quick succession as the tide recedes, reveals a world of specific activity only visible at a particular time and place, histories appearing and disappearing.