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- Flumina by Fennesz + Sakamoto
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 02 December 2011
This is the third full on collaboration between these two heavyweights of your neo-classical ambient genre or whatever you want to call it. It came about when Sakamoto played an improvised piano piece in a different key to open up each show of some world tour or other. He then sent the tapes to Austria where Mr Fennesz had his wicked way with them. It sounds almost exactly like you would imagine a collaboration between these two would sound. Sakamoto plays deliciously glacial piano stabs - leaving plenty of room between the notes for Fennesz to add haunting guitar and synth tones. Tracks like Track 3 (they don't have titles) are surprisingly atonal but on Track 4 the whole majesty of Sakamoto's playing is visible in a stunning haunted piece of blissed out ambience. There is something really distinctive about Sakamoto's playing - you can tell it's him even if you were blindfolded and had your ears wrapped in a sheath. He errs on the side of quick stabbed notes throughout - seemingly at random but obviously lovingly crafted. Fennesz does his thing with care, creating subtle backgrounds and cushions on which the piano can sit without ever getting in the way. It's a double CD and it goes on forever, not that you'd mind - it's truly compelling stuff.
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