Austrian guitarist, composer and electronic musician Christian Fennesz is recognized as the key figure and one of the most distinctive voices of electronic music today. His wide international reputation has been consolidated through a substantial overall contribution to the new musical expression.
In the beginning of nineties Fennesz became involved with Viennese techno scene. From the very beginning, he was displaying talent for composing and developing his own sound world and the distinctive idiom made possible by technology. Although Fennesz has been educating formaly since an early age, first in guitar later in ethno-musicology, he decided to look for his own musical goal in the world where he could belong, expressing himself as a composer and performer. He maintained guitar as a dominant musical source changing the conventional usage and features by plugging it into laptop. Combining these musical tools as well as developing his own style in transforming and processing it, Christian Fennesz managed to create a specific expression and sound world that is difficult to mistake for another. On the first full-length solo release Hotel paralel.lel (1997) for Viennese Mego he had introduced mix of analog and digital, the blend of raw textures and twisted guitar sound. The album had been awarded with Prix Ars Electronica for Distinction for Digital Musics. Two years after the first one, the second album entitled Plus Forty Seven Degrees 56′ 37" Minus Sixteen Degrees 51′ 08" was released by Touch. Milestone of Fennesz’s career, the third album Endless summer (2001, Mego) is acknowledged as one of the most important releases of the decade that helped changing of perception and position of electronic music today. In the times when composers of improvised and experimental music had tended almost to negate basic musical components, Fennesz has given significant place to melody in his own pieces. Growing unexpectedly into the music, the melody is delicatly appearing beneath (or on the top) of shimmering electronic sound often described as symphonic for its enormous range and complex musicality.
In 2004 Fennesz presented album Venice where he brought to the full extension combination of ambience rich sound textures combined with pop-song elements – started from the most obvious one as track length, to the more hidden as structure itself. The last solo release Black sea (2008) has proved to be bold step towards experimenting with longer tracks that tend to fuse or to be perceived as a complex structure, outlining and constructing sonic space without necessarily filling it with musical narrative and predefined concept.
Within last ten years, Fennesz had made collaboration with many other musicians as well with authors whose creative field stretch form video art and film to dance. These encounters of diverse poetics had resulted with numerous stage performances and number of exceptional studio releases. He had been recording and performing with Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Sylvian, Keith Rowe, Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse), Mike Patton and many others. Fennesz has also worked alongside Peter Rehberg and Jim O’Rourke in the improvisational trio Fenn O’Berg.