Gorgeous digital etherealism from Vienna
It’s taken well over a decade for music to catch up with the hyper-textured innovations of My Bloody Valentine. Alongside Boards Of Canada, Manitoba and Ekkehard Ehlers, Austrian producer Christian Fennesz is a prime mover in this new wave of bliss-out, using laptop-generated interference and treated guitar to breathtaking effect. A more accessible cousin to 2001’s Endless Summer, Venice manipulates blizzards of static and drone for meditative, occasionally rockish ends, fragments of melody threaded through the abstraction. It’s also humanely crafted, with a warmth unusual in the avant-garde. David Sylvian helps shape a song out of “Transit”, but also breaks the mood somewhat:this brave, passionate music needs no earthly mediation.