The magic of Christian Fennesz’s work comes in the way he turns the minimal into the maximal, expanding tiny moments into huge sonic environments. When making Agora, his first solo album in five years, the experimental ambient producer was forced to work minimally—after losing his studio space, he was relegated to using headphones in a bedroom—and he translated these restrictions into one of his most oversized works yet. The album’s four tracks are all over 10 minutes in length and unabashedly sweeping, as processed guitar tones and dense computer manipulations generate droning, nearly-orchestral waves. But each mountainous track is also filled with small details, be it a high-pitched squall, a grainy click, or a distant rumble. Like all of Fennesz’s best work, Agora evokes memories and the way they linger and change. But the album never feels faded or nostalgic; all of its enveloping sound is immensely present, pulsing with life. [Marc Masters]
- Spire 7.1 The Eternal Chord – “Mutatis Mutandis”
- Tone 76 Budhaditya Chattopadhyay – “The Well-tempered City Book l”
- Tone 70 Simon Scott – “Migrations”
- V33.40 Various Artists – “Touch: Isolation”
- TO:6D Strafe Für Rebellion – “Santa Maria”
- Tone 65 Jana Winderen – “Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone”
- TO:114V ELEH – “Living Space”
- V33.30 Fennesz/Rosy Parlane – “Live 2000”
- V33.20 Simon Scott – “Emergency Exit”
- Tone 68 Strafe F.R. – “Shadow Position”
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