Christian Fennesz’s new album Cendre is due out later this month, and is a record I’m looking forward to hearing. “Transit” appears on its predecesssor, Venice, and is the only track to feature a vocal, courtesy of David Sylvian. Fennesz is a guitarist, but his music is predominantly electronic with the instrument processed beyond recognition in a lot of his work. Comparisons have been made to My Bloody Valentine, but the similarities are pretty superficial. Fennesz’s work has as much in common with purely electronic artists like Vladislav Delay and Carsten Nicolai as it does with shoegazing guitar acts.
Venice is a superb album. “Transit” isn’t a particularly representative track – it has more in common with classic Japan tunes like “Night Porter” and “Ghosts” than it does with many of the other tracks on the record. It’s a hugely atmospheric piece. It conjours up images of a late night spent alone in a high rise city apartment – the world around clearly visible through the windows, but the flat silent and lonely. There is a distant lonely synth figure in the background overlaying a glitchy, processed feedback drenched foreground that sounds so mournful. “The lights are dimming / the lounge is dark / the best cigarette is saved for last / we drink alone / we drink alone” and then it fades leaving an empty void of isolation. “Transit” is followed by an instrumental called “The Point Of It All” which is an utterly desolate companion piece. The two tracks are like two halves of a whole, and are the emotional centre of a very fine album.