Christian Fennesz is a dude who does serious things. Let us consider three of these things; a trilogy that’s heavy on the melody and light on the noise.
While the 2001 classic Endless Summer beat the season into your ears with a semi-steady pulse and melodiese buried in sand, Venice was a soft wash that was afraid of waking you up. Black Sea, just to be different, is a hard wash whose melodies sit off to the side, afraid to approach you because you are just too damn good looking.
The title track opens with a bubbly, distorted gurgle sounding a bit like the sea. For nerdiness’ sake, let’s hope it was actual recordings of a sea, if not the Black Sea. The obvious guitar bits, the post-post-post-rock influences are almost entirely gone, and we get almost 20 minutes into the album before we hear anything event remotely resembling a guitar. “Perfume for Winter” is a blast from a pre-9/11 past, and starts a trend that continues throughout Black Sea; we begin where Venice left off, and return full circle to some of the ideas found on Endless Summer, but without their playful experimentation. Even the closer, the presumably hopeful “Saffron Revolution” – referring, we presume, to events in Burma in 2007 – ends with a listless strum.
A soundtrack to things a little bit sad, a little bit shitty; just like life.