on 2 May 2004
Fennesz basically picks up where Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine left off (far to early after completing 'Loveless' in 1991) in exploring what can be done with a guitar and a bunch of computerised effects. Indeed fans of the former will find much to savour on this record. There is a fuzzy, warm feel punctured by glitches and explosions of static...but what makes it special is that everything is pinned to a beautiful melody underneath. Sometimes the melody is buried under an avalanche of digital mayhem...but listen carefully.
Fennesz essentially is quite a virtuoso on the guitar, but he also loves to manipulate the sounds it makes using all the digital tools available to a modern musician so that he creates something quite new and unique, but still retains the soul of the original performance.
He really is one of the few artists who is able to push the envelope of what music is about, and make something genuinely exciting and enjoyable to listen to. This CD is great, and is perhaps his most acessible work yet..so start here...and if you like this, you will adore his previous record 'Endless Summer' which I think is his masterpiece.
Fuzzy guitars and glitchy feedback ripple through this record, bringing together the aesthetics and ideas of a lot of pioneering electronic acts of the last ten years - Autechre; Aphex Twin; Squarepusher; Sunn O))); Flying Lotus - but soaring well beyond anything created by those contemporaries.
I came to Fennesz through 2001's "Endless Summer", and thought that record was a masterpiece, but it feels a little empty compared to the thick, rich tapestry weaved in "Venice". There is lot more texture to this record. While certain later tracks on "Endless Summer" grow to seem a little tired after repeated listens, "Venice" gets better and better. There are always new sounds to be heard, new waves to be swept away by.
It's difficult to describe this sort of music - all one can do is say that it is transcendent, and that any fan of progressive electronic music will not be disappointed.