"Hotel Paral.lel", released in 1997, marks the full length debut release from Austrian Christian Fennesz, originally released by MEGO, following the twitching drone as found on the 1995 EP "Instrument", also included in this deluxe 2LP reissue. Once launched, "Hotel Paral.lel" was to instigate a sublime exploration of a wide variety of forms, from formal abstraction to shimmering drone around to ground zero glitch pop.
Recorded just before mobile computing devices became omnipresent it was an investigation into the sonic possibilities residing in guitar based digital music. Sz launches the career with a constantly buzzing sound that resembles a fax machine encountering a G3 laptop for the first time, realising the game is up. Nebenraum is the first foray into the style for which one would attribute to Fennesz. A glacial drone unexpectedly morphs into a gorgeous melody and microscopic groove. Adding pulse and melody was hearsay in the radical end of experimental music up until this point and with this single gesture, everything changed, for everyone. Blok M nails this trajectory home with a straight up 4/4 beat. Such rhythm also features on Fa with a euphoric mix of a thudding beat, sharp splinters of noise and a devastating exploding melody. Repetition plays heavily through this album as the hyper metronomic beat on traxdata lays a bed for all manner of buzzing electronics. On the closing "Aus" we see a glimpse of what was to come in the future works of Fennesz, an experiment in popping, bubbling pulse pop. A far more darker and experimental work than Fennesz' subsequent work. This is an exquisite radical field of freeform noise, sliced techno beats and subtle ambient texture all coming together to create a timeless work. There's little out there in the world of music, still to this day, that sounds remotely like Hotel Paral.lel.
With a radical reinvention of music "Hotel Paral.lel" is an essential addition to collectors of pioneering music in the late 20th Century and sounds as enthralling today as it did to the shocked ears occupying 1997.
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 his substantial overall contribution to new musical expression.
In the beginning of the 1990s, Fennesz became involved with Viennese techno scene. Though formally educated in guitar and ethnomusicology from an early age, Fennesz decided to pursue composing and developing his own sound world in the distinctive electronic idiom. By plugging his guitar into his laptop and transforming and processing it, he managed to create a specific sound that is difficult to mistake for another's.
On his first full-length solo release, Hotel Paral.lel
(1997, Editions Mego
), he introduced a mix of raw textures and twisted guitar sounds. The album was awarded the Prix Ars Electronica. Two years later, plus forty seven degrees 56' 37" minus sixteen degrees 51' 08"
was released by Touch
His milestone third album Endless Summer
(2001, Editions Mego) was acknowledged as one of the most important releases of the decade, helping to change the perception of electronic music today. On it, he gave significant importance to melody, appearing delicately beneath (or on the top) of his shimmering electronic soundscape-often described as "symphonic" for its enormous range and complex musicality. In 2004, Fennesz released Venice
, in which he combined ambience-rich sound textures with pop-song elements. Black Sea
(2008) has proven to be a bold step in experimentation with longer tracks that outline and construct sonic space without necessarily filling it with musical narrative or a predefined concept. His 2014 studio album Bécs
was followed by his 2019 album for Touch, Agora
Fennesz has collaborated with many musicians, filmmakers, and dancers. These encounters of diverse art forms have resulted in numerous stage performances and several exceptional studio releases. He has recorded and performed with Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Sylvian, Keith Rowe, Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, Mike Patton, Oren Ambarchi
, Mika Vainio
, and many others. Fennesz has also worked alongside Peter Rehberg
and Jim O'Rourke
as the improvisational trio Fenn O'Berg.