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Fennesz : Endless Summer
Abstract electronic homage to The Beach Boys
In 1998, Fennesz released a brilliant single on Jim O'Rourke's Moikai label, an unrecognisable version of The Beach Boys' 'Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)'. 'Endless Summer' is that record's belated sequel, borrowing its title from an old Beach Boys compilation and its atmosphere from Brian Wilson's most elegiac, wistful music.
Obviously, Fennesz is operating with radically different tools. But as he slices up tinkling vibes and ghost harmonies on 'Caecilia' through a digital heat haze, it's plain that this is an unswervingly modern but affecting homage. There are parallels, too, with another rarely-glimpsed genius of raw sound, Kevin Shields.
'A Year In A Minute' and 'Happy Audio' electronically recreate that magical fluff-on-needle effect of My Bloody Valentine's 'Loveless', burying their warped melodies beneath protective layers of fuzz.
That's the real beauty of 'Endless Summer': an album that proves experimental new music can understand and revitalise old traditions, that the avant-garde doesn't have to be grey and terrifying. One to pack with the swimsuit and post-structuralist textbooks, for sure.
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