Published Sep 28, 2010This year has been a busier one than usual for Christian Fennesz. The recently resurrected Fenn O'Berg - his project with Peter Rehberg and Jim O'Rourke - released a double-LP set, another new side-project with Tony Buck and David Daniell issued an album on Thrill Jockey, a recent remix/re-imagining of a track by the rising Oneohtrix Point Never appeared on a seven-inch, and he even had time to issue a cassette on the Tapeworm imprint. On top of all that, Fennesz has marked this recent period of activity with a rare North American tour, including his first appearance in Vancouver since 2003.
Strapped with his electric guitar and standing in front of a laptop, Fennesz began the show with a blast of fuzzed electronics, reaching an incredible volume that was sustained for the entirety of his set. Deeply submerged melodies were knocked around and cut out by Fennesz's guitar playing, creating what seemed like a dual between his two chosen instruments. Loud waves of controlled feedback were interspersed with his gauzy shoegaze laptop constructions, riveting the crowd with their intensity and volume. Occasionally, he brought the force of the set down and played lilting guitar lines that were blurred into a blissful oblivion.
The packed room in the atmospheric and incredibly hot Western Front was kind to Fennesz's first visit to the city in seven years. Rapturous applause at the end of his set was bestowed upon him, resulting his return to the stage for one last wall of his layered and smeared tones. A rare treat for Vancouver fans of electronic and experimental music. Truly one of the year's live highlights.