Like a story dissected, a film spliced, a memory distorted, or an image blurred, the music takes you further down the path depicted on the album’s cover. Then it takes you off into the beyond, wherever that may be for you.
Fennesz must be permanently updating the software and technology available to him in his attempts to finally capture the exact atmosphere of what exists within his musical mind. As technology develops, often at the speed of sound itself, composers like this have explored the limits and written music that continually push at those boundaries. Fennesz himself is a master of this. You can only scratch your head and wonder what he will be producing in several years time when some other technical possibility becomes open to him.
It is hard to differentiate between how much the album’s title influences your expectations within the music. His album Endless Summer, for example, provoked a warm glow that also emanated from the music itself. Black Sea as a title, and the cover as an art form, conjures up a certain greyness of imagery. The music does little to dispel that, and I think it would take you in that direction regardless of any preconception.
Such is the power of Fennesz, the artist, the technician, the experimenter, the musician. He has an ability to construct real places within his music that tempt you to visit and explore. This album is one of the finest examples of that ability. For fifty-two minutes I have sat absorbed and mentally explored places that only exist inside my head, conjured up within the electronic soundscape being created for me. Seemlessly constructed and constrained only by the limitations that exist technically, this album is an abstract work of art in every sense of the phrase.
Distorted like our own view of the world, and layered with a myriad of electric sparks that create thought patterns, Black Sea is a journey into the mist of our imagination. The limitations of the English language to describe it, however, are harder to overcome.