Christian Fennesz  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Christian Fennesz (born December 25, 1962) is an Austrian electronic musician, often credited on albums simply as Fennesz.

A key figure in the ascent of IDM and electronica in the 1990s, Fennesz uses guitar and notebook computers to make multilayered compositions that blend melody and conventional musical instruments with harsh, irregular glitch-influenced sounds and washes of white noise. He lives and works in Vienna, Austria and Paris, France.


Fennesz was born and raised in Austria and studied music formally in art school.

In the late 1980s he formed a band called Maische, with a 'noise meets pop' approach similar to bands such as Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine. Maisce found some local popularity, but Fennesz was uncomfortable with the band setup and left.

Afterwards, he became involved in the Viennese techno scene of the early 1990s. From there on, he began to collect his own equipment and produce music based loosely around guitar and synthesizer sounds.

Since the 1990s, Fennesz played live with Ryuichi Sakamoto, with British electroacoustic improvisation icon Keith Rowe, and with quirky American pop group Sparklehorse. He has also worked alongside Peter Rehberg and Jim O'Rourke in the improvisional trio Fenn O'Berg, and with British singer David Sylvian - Sylvian sang on Fennesz's album Venice while Fennesz composed the music for "A Fire in the Forest" from Sylvian's album Blemish and made contributions to Sylvian's "When Loud Weather Buffeted Naoshima". Fennesz also appeared on the Ulver remix/compilation album 1993-2003: First Decade in the Machines, contributing "Only The Poor Have Time To Travel".

Fennesz had ties with the Vienna-based label Mego, and is now signed to Touch in the UK.

Fennesz and Sakamoto released a collaborative album entitled Cendre in March 2007 on Sakamoto's new Commmons label, via Touch.

Fennesz performed with singer Mike Patton at the 2007 Moers Festival - marking the first time the two have performed together on stage in Europe, as they have performed in 2006 at the Festival International de Musique Actuel de Victoriaville, and will continue to tour Europe together into June.


The emphasis on the guitar texture and the burying of pop melodies under layers of effects are common features of Fennesz's music. Also, the music of the Beach Boys has had an influence on Fennesz, as revealed by his cover of “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)” on the Plays EP. The Beach Boys influence is mentioned in a Pitchforkmedia interview], in relation to the album title, cover art, and melodic emphasis of his Endless Summer LP.


Studio Albums
Collaboration albums
  • (2002) Field Recordings: 1995-2002 (Touch)
Live Recordings
Studio EPs
  • (1995) Instrument EP (Mego)
  • (1998) Il Libro Mio EP (Mego)
  • (1998) Plays EP (Mego/Mokai)
  • (1999) Plus Forty Seven Degrees 56' 37" Minus Sixteen Degrees 51' 08" (Touch)
Singles, tracks
In Fenn O'Berg
  • (1999) The Magic Sound of Fenn O'Berg (Mego)
  • (2002) The Return of Fenn O'Berg (Mego)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Christian Fennesz" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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