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Black Sea is the much-anticipated new album from Christian Fennesz, his first since Venice. Fennesz’s career has come a long way since Instrument, his debut for Mego in 1995, and his first solo album Hotel Paral.lel which followed in 1998. Endless Summer [Mego, 2001] brought him to a much wider audience and Venice underlined his mastery of melody and dissonance. His songs usually embody the skilful application and manipulation of dense sonic textures with a genuine feel for the live, and real-time. Black Sea features guitars that rarely sound like guitars; the instrument is transformed into an orchestra. Fennesz lists the elements used to make the compositions: “Acoustic and electric guitars, synthesizers, electronics, computers and live-improvising software lloopp.” On “Glide”, Fennesz duets with Rosy Parlane (NZ) [www.rosyparlane.com], whose work is also released on Touch. Fennesz also teams up with eMego artist Anthony Pateras (AUS) [www.anthonypateras.com], whose prepared piano features on “The Colour of Three”. Fennesz pushes his work into a more classical domain, preferring the slow reveal to Venice’s and Endless Summer’s more song-based structures. Jon Wozencroft’s artwork makes visible this carefully hidden world resting beneath the surface of “the first impression”. A series of shots, taken in quick succession as the tide recedes, reveals a world of specific activity only visible at a particular time and place, histories appearing and disappearing.