Fennesz’s ‘Szampler’ is now available digitally from The Digital Archive of Tapeworm’s Bandcamp page. First available in 2010 on cassette-only and long-since deleted, this 2021 edition was remastered by Fennesz himself in Vienna on 24 March 2021.
Fennesz writes: “I was surprised how emotional it was to revisit these audio samples, originally a collection of short sounds I made for my Ensoniq EPS-16+ and ASR-10 samplers – a sound library I used for these instruments from 1990 until 2000.
The EPS-16+ was an innovative early sampler. 16-bit, variable sampling rates from 11.2kHz to 44.6kHz – with a slim 1Mb of memory it had just about 11.5 seconds of sampling time in mono at 44.6kHz. The ASR-10 was a major upgrade with 16MB of RAM, which gave me much more sampling time, and also had a built-in effects processor and a sequencer. It was a sampling workstation that allowed me to produce full albums. (I should also mention I used an Atari at around this time…)
My first EP “Instrument” (Mego, 1995) and debut album “Hotel Paral.lel” (Mego, 1997) were made with the ASR-10 and the Atari. Many of these sounds appeared on later albums and some are still in use today, especially during live performances, where I play them in a Max/MSP patch. This patch was designed by Klaus Filip, who introduced me to Ensoniq samplers back in the late 80s/early 90s…
I had first compiled “Szampler” for The Tapeworm in 2010. However it wasn’t until 2021, while reassembling the original samples for digital remastering, that its emotional connections began to reveal themselves; it’s perplexing how involving it was this time around… Releasing them digitally somehow feels more exposing. The process has taken me on a retrospective journey which which I am still undertaking.
I hope you find this version of “Szampler” as involving as I do. The sounds have accompanied me throughout my musical working life, and as such carry a weight of memories in themselves.” – Fennesz, Vienna, 4 April 2021.
Here is the original press release: Here Christian Fennesz opens his magic box to reveal a plethora of samples from his old Ensoniq EPS-16+ and ASR-10 samplers which he used for his recordings from 1989 to 1996. For those of you familiar with his work, you will recognise some of them… from noise to dub and blasts of sheared electronics with his familiar patina, a palette of extraordinary energy and spirit is made manifest. An exciting and invigorating collection, with great wit and flair, this cassette is the perfect accompaniment to his wonderful albums.