Top 100 Artists of the Decade: #50 Fennesz


The Top 100 Artists of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one artist and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 artist of the decade!

Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.

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#50 Fennesz

When I was looking for inspiration on what to say about Fennesz, aside from listening to his music, I shot Brian Deck an e-mail. Whether he knows it or not, Deck was actually the one who turned me on to Fennesz. I asked him to give me one line to describe Fennesz and he replied, "His music, rendered with the most artificial of instruments (lap top), sounds like ancient music stored by gods within glaciers and sub atomic particles, found by high priests, and set loose to illustrate the path to the future." I don't think it's possible to say it any better than that.

Christian Fennesz, commonly referred to by last name only, is one of the pioneers of experimental electronica, ironically blending pop sensibilities into the noisy fold of experimentalism. Fennesz is the Beethoven of our time - piecing together beautiful compositions from nothing, as if blind to what he is working with. Although he has been releasing albums consistently since 1995, there are two albums that are central to Fennesz's success. His breakout album, Endless Summer, brought Fennesz to the forefront of IDM and experimental electronica. Released in 2001, Endless Summer was a deep, swirling confluence of noise and pop. And, although popular conception deems the two genres polar opposites, Endless Summer makes you realize that they are actually much better together, like drinking during the day - it's much better that way. Similar to My Bloody Valentine, Fennesz distorts electric guitars and injects melody into this fuzz. But, rather than leaning towards rock music, Endless Summer has more of a pop music feel. This same feel is present in 2004's Venice. But, if Endless Summer was Fennesz's flower blossoming, Venice is the pollen drifting off into the air. It is still based around guitar distortion and pop melodies, but it is much more ethereal, almost extraterrestrial. The melodies are more ambient, forcing the listener to invest more attention and patience; but, the result is astounding. For these two albums, Fennesz is easily one of the most influential artists of this decade.

- Caleb Morairty

Check back tomorrow for the next artist! To see the full list of the Top 100 Artists of the Decade, click here.

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