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Mahler Remix: in which erstwhile electro-acoustic guitarist Fennesz builds a performance mostly out of samples from the symphonies of Gustav Mahler. Billowing orchestral clouds come in and out of view, along with granulated tones and mangled shards of guitar. A hazy freefall into classical music history. Double LP release on Touch.

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Mahler Remix by Fennesz
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8/10 Clinton Staff review, 28 January 2016

Oh what is he up to now? He’s sampled bits if Gustav Mahler’s symphonies and created a performance out of them. It’s very nice indeed.

Churning billowing orchestral sounds waft like smoke drifting across the sky especially on the first section (no titles just 1,2,3,4 to signify the sides). The opening piece then falls away only to return distorted by layers of sludge, you can just hear the horns lost in the fog before Fennesz adds some staticy keys to the proceedings. Overleaf (the piece I’m calling ‘2’) starts in similarly subtle fashion before rising up to enormous waves of distorted loops. Eventually the guitar comes out platting a rather Smiths like guitar figure though shrouded in murk and accompanied by all kinds of static. Eventually the guitar starts strumming a couple of chords and I’m starting to be reminded of the avant murk-gaze of Flying Saucer Attack. I’m going to stick my neck on the line and declare it the ‘best bit’. It’s nice to hear some aggression in ambient music.

Beatless throughout, this lengthy experiment veers through several moods from full on distortion to looped orchestral beauty but it’s not quiet or even really soothing. The closing section with it’s hissing drones is about as ear soothing as it gets, beneath the fuzz Fennesz tinkers away, picking out lovely chords on his guitar. 


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