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Christian Fennesz
Fennesz performing in Bethesda, Maryland in 2010
Fennesz performing in Bethesda, Maryland in 2010
Background information
Birth nameChristian Fennesz
Also known asFennesz
Born (1962-12-25) 25 December 1962 (age 61)
OriginNeusiedl am See, Austria

Christian Fennesz (born 25 December 1962) is a producer and guitarist active in electronic music since the 1990s, often credited simply by his last name. His work utilizes guitar and laptop computers to blend melody with treated samples and glitch production.[2] He lives and works in Vienna, and currently records on the UK label Touch.

Fennesz first received widespread recognition for his 2001 album Endless Summer, released on the Austrian label Mego. He has collaborated with a number of artists, including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Jim O'Rourke, Ulver, David Sylvian, and King Midas Sound.


Fennesz was born and raised in Austria and studied music formally in art school. He started playing guitar around the age of 8 or 9.[4] He initially performed as a member of the Austrian experimental rock band Maische before signing to electronic music label Mego as a solo artist. The influence of techno led him to begin composing with a laptop.[5] In 1995 he released his first EP Instrument, which explored electro-acoustic and ambient stylings.[1]

In 1997, Fennesz released his debut full-length album Hotel Paral.lel, which saw him delve more explicitly into laptop production and early glitch aesthetics.[2] He followed with the 1998 single Plays, which contained near-unrecognizable covers of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" and the Beach Boys' "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)".[1] In the following years, he collaborated with a variety of artists, including Peter "Pita" Rehberg and Jim O'Rourke as part of Fenn O'Berg.[1] In 2001, he released his third studio album Endless Summer to widespread critical praise and recognition.[6] He collaborated with figures such as David Sylvian, Keith Rowe, eRikm, Ryuichi Sakamoto in the following years, and released the albums Venice (2004) and Black Sea (2007) to further critical praise.[1]

In 2009 Fennesz teamed up with Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse) to create In the Fishtank 15. The following year Fennesz released Szampler,[7] a cassette containing his sample collection on the Tapeworm label. This release was later remixed by Stefan Goldmann and released as Goldmann vs. Fennesz: Remiksz.[8] In 2011, he appeared on the live Ulver release The Norwegian National Opera, contributing guitar and effects to "Not Saved." In November 2013, Fennesz played the final holiday camp edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Camber Sands, England.[9] In 2014, he released the studio album Bécs. In 2015, he collaborated with UK group King Midas Sound on the album Editions 1.[1]

Recording techniques[edit]

Since the 1990s, Fennesz has worked with the programming software Max/MSP and the free patch Ppooll, which he runs in conjunction with the workstation Logic 9.[10] In both studio and live settings, he routes his guitar through effects pedals (including a custom distortion box) and into his computer.[11] There, it is processed and combined with Ppooll software plugins and tools such as samplers, synthesizers, effects, and MIDI controllers.[10]


Studio albums
Collaboration albums
  • (2002) Field Recordings: 1995–2002 (Touch)
  • (2010) Szampler (Tapeworm)
Live recordings
Studio EPs
  • (1995) Instrument 12" vinyl (Mego)
  • (1998) Il Libro Mio EP (Tanz Hotel)
  • (1998) Plays 7" (Mego)
  • (1999) Plays CDEP (Moikai)
  • (2006) Plays 10" vinyl (Editions Mego)
  • (2011) Seven Stars CDEP/10" vinyl (Touch)
Singles, tracks, guest collaborations, etc.
  • (2002) "Wrapped Islands" with Polwechsel (Erstwhile)
  • (2005) "Erstlive 004" with Peter Rehberg, Sachiko M and Otomo Yoshihide (Erstwhile)
  • (2007) "On a desolate shore a shadow passes by" (Touch) – download only
  • (2008) "Transition" (Touch)
  • (2008) "Saffron Revolution" (Touch) – download only
  • (2010) "Future Back" and "Impassive Skies" with Patrick Pulsinger, on Pulsinger's album Impassive Skies (Disko B)
  • (2011) "Fearless" (Thrill Jockey) – contribution for the Benefit for the Recovery in Japan compilation
  • (2001) "IVEND 00", based on material from Attention: Cats by Various Artists, on rkk13cd (Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge)
  • (2003) Remixed "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "The Future Sound Of Music" (titled "Only the Poor have to Travel") by Ulver on 1993–2003: A Decade In The Machines (Jester Records)
  • (2005) Remixed "Weight" by Isis on Oceanic Remixes Vol. 4 (Ipecac)
  • (2007) Remixed "In This Twilight" by Nine Inch Nails on Year Zero Remixed (Interscope)
  • (2010) Remixed "Returnal" by Oneohtrix Point Never on Returnal Maxi Single 7" (Editions Mego)
  • (2011) Remixed "The Visitor" by Miracle on Fluid Window
  • (2011) Remixed "Shikaku Kakumei" (titled "QSMJAF") by Sōtaisei Riron on Tadashii Sōtaisei Riron (Commmons/Mirai Records)
In Fenn O'Berg
  • (1999) The Magic Sound of Fenn O'Berg (Mego)
  • (2002) The Return of Fenn O'Berg (Mego)
  • (2009) Magic & Return Double CD reissue (Editions Mego)
  • (2010) In Stereo (Mego)
Tribute to Fennesz
  • (2004) Tim Hecker "Mirages" (Alien8 Recordings) – Incurably optimistic
  • (2012) Lcoma "Fennesz" (Unsigned) – Musical influence
With Food

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Sean Cooper (1962-12-25). "Fennesz | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  2. ^ a b c Sharma, Paul (31 January 2009). "Mixing Melody With Noise". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  3. ^ Hawkins, Kristal (25 August 2010). "Living: Moving Sounds Festival Presents Fennesz". The Village Voice. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  4. ^ "fastsearchfinder.com". Semtexinc.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  5. ^ Hawkins, Kristal (25 August 2010). "Living: Moving Sounds Festival Presents Fennesz". The Village Voice. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  6. ^ Fruitman, Stephen (21 November 2012). "Christian Fennesz :: Aun: The Beginning And The End Of All Things (Ash International)". Igloo Magazine. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  7. ^ "The Tapeworm presents... TTW#16 – Fennesz – Szampler". Tapeworm.org.uk. 2010-01-07. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  8. ^ "The Tapeworm presents... TTW#26 – Goldmann vs Fennesz – Remiksz". Tapeworm.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  9. ^ "End Of An Era Part 2 curated by ATP & Loop – All Tomorrow's Parties". Atpfestival.com. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  10. ^ a b Martin, Christopher Reid. "An Interview with Christian Fennesz". Cycling '74. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  11. ^ Ross, Michael (17 December 2015). "Spotlight: Fennesz". Guitar Moderne. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Fennesz to release Agora, his first solo album in five years". Resident Advisor. Retrieved January 20, 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Fennesz at Wikimedia Commons