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christian fennesz - AUN
It's always a pleasure to usher in new work from Austrian auteur Fennesz, and this under-the-radar gem is especially interesting as it showcases a softer side to the usually noisy master. 'Aun' was put together as a soundtrack to Edgar Honetschlager's film of the same name, and as such finds Fennesz in subdued but fine form. While there are three tracks here culled from his collaborative venture with pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto, the rest of the material is totally new, and works as the perfect showcase for his more minimal mediations. From the very beginning it's clear that 'Aun' is an exercise in restraint, as opener 'Kae' explores textures we might be familiar with from 'Black Sea', but never breaks a sweat. Instead we're treated to near-meditative calm, punctuated by the kind of interference Christian Fennesz made his own all those years ago on the now-legendary 'Instrument' EP. We are ushered through clouds of gaseous harmonic bliss and waves of crushing beauty as the record slowly tells its story. Even without visual accompaniment, it's clear there's a narrative at work, and with time these subtle, breathy explorations reach into just the same places as Fennesz's more pilloried work.