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The 15 Best Experimental Albums of 2019

In an age when the personal is political feels as necessary as ever, we identify most with experimenters who transcend the throwing-shit-at-a-wall, banging-on-pots-and-cans approach. These artists occupy the earthly just as much as they occupy the mechanical and the celestial.

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Music

King Midas Sound and Fennesz - "Waves" (Singles Going Steady)

King Midas Sound and Fennesz have joined forces for a new project called Edition 1, which will be released by Ninja Tune on September 18th.

Music

Fennesz: Bécs

This is not easy music, but at the same time it is experimentalism made accessible through the artist’s cunning methods

Music

My Life With the Tape Hiss Cult

When we think of our experiences with electronic music, we can follow a thought trail that leads like a Wikipedia article from one incendiary album to many others. Their qualities are not always alike but for one: the nostalgic thread that runs through them.

Music

Fenn O'Berg: Magic & Return

The two out-of-print albums by Christian Fennesz, Jim O'Rourke, and Peter Rehberg/Pita are collected by Editions Mego on this monster collection.

Music

Ambarchi / Fennesz / Pimmon / Rehberg / Rowe: Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea is the rare collaboration that sounds like an exercise in restraint.

Music

Hidden Melodies: An Interview with Christian Fennesz

Christian Fennesz always has the record button on, and with his new album he's found a way to turn a cross between a flute and a gong into something perfectly natural.

Reviews

Big Ears Festival

If this year was any indication of what is to come, Big Ears may become the premiere American avant-garde festival… in Knoxville, Tennessee of all places.

Music

Fennesz: Black Sea

Fennesz's first solo record in quite some time is quieter, more amorphous and less accessible than his most definitive work. Spend some time with it, however, and it begins to open up.

Mike Newmark
Music

Fennesz: Hotel Paral.lel

Endless Summer may be the most recognized Fennesz release, but even as far back as 1997 he was laying down a template for the tension of that album's lovely guitar shimmer and abrasive scraps of feedback.

Music

Fennesz: Endless Summer

Six years later, the original tracklist, full of gauzy guitars and bristling white noise, still holds up on its own merits -- and without the unneccessary bonus tracks.

Music

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Bricolages

The best we can say for this remix album is that the original material still sounds great.

Music

Fennesz: Venice

Venice gives a peek at his enduring penchant for pop, shows him breaking out into other areas of digital territory, and allowing his listeners to see the guitar anew, with its most glimmering elements shining like sunlight through cracks in a wall, sharp as diamonds.

Chris Toenes
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