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fenn o'berg (fennesz, o'rourke, rehberg) - In Hell
Five fiery, extended, hugely absorbing pieces from the mighty Fenn O'Berg - the triumvirate of Christian Fennesz, Jim O'Rourke and Peter Rehberg, as you surely know by now - recorded on their 2010 Japan tour in Oita, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Nagoya. The effortlessness and assurance with which this well-travelled trio conjure different moods and sound-worlds - from inquisitive concrete and eerie drones to nose-bleeding power electronics and head-spinning out-rock is just incredible; moreover, every transition feels natural, there's a great narrative skill at work. There's also an abundance of hooks, whether the haunting - almost hauntological- synth overtures at the heart of 'Omuta Fuji' and 'Concrete Onions', Fennesz's plaintive riffage cutting through the hard ice of 'It Came From Nagoya', or the various "cheeky samples" we're told are lurking in the mix (happy spotting). Edited together by Jim O'Rourke at his Steamroom studio in Tokyo last year, and cut at D+M in Berlin, this is one of our favourite Fenn O'Berg releases to date; improvised electronic music honestly doesn't get much better. A reminder, if it was needed, that these guys are on another level. So so good.