Staring at the Sun
This is avant-garde music aimed at evoking tangible atmospheres rather than oblique abstraction for its own sake. Besides the false start that is ‘Made in Hong Kong’ – with its inauspicious opening drones that sound like your stereo is melting – Endless Summer delivers its promise of bright, shimmering (albeit massively warped) digital music.
It is never straitforward, Fennesz puts his own guitar strums through the ringer of filtered manipulation, but always keeps a tangible landscape within our view. The title track, despite its 7-plus minutes, is the definitive track, a swirl of My Bloody Valentine-esque distortion that never bursts into the frenzy you expect, but simmers and morphs (and is not unlike staring into the sun until all shapes and forms blur into one).
‘A Year in a Minute’ – which reminds me of M83 – washes giant waves of synth over the listener while acid squiggles bubble ominously underneath, threatening to overwealm before being subdued. Elsewhere, the music moves subtly from deconstructed, sonic doodling, into soothing coherence, while ‘Happy Audio’, the final 9-minute plus epic, crackles with effervescent vinyl static. Not for the casual electronica fan, but a rewarding experience nonetheless.