Big Ears Recording Showcases Worldwide Talent

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Fennesz Daniell Buck

Knoxville (Thrill Jockey)

Each artist on this collaboration, recorded live at the Square Room during the first Big Ears festival in February 2009, has a well-defined approach to making music, and none of them depart from their standard methods here. But it is something of a surprise just how well the particular styles of electronic composer Christian Fennesz, drummer Tony Buck of Australian improv trio the Necks, and guitarist David Daniell work together. Fennesz is the guiding force here, his fuzzy drones of manipulated electric guitar providing the basic foundation for each of the four songs. But Buck and Daniell’s contributions are more than just decorative—Buck’s one of the best drummers alive, and his intimate chimes and big, rolling rhythms anchor Fennesz’s humming soundscapes, and Daniell’s flaring, sometimes-dense leads add narrative detail to the broad sweep of the compositions. Each song is a highlight, but the intense, cinematic climaxes of bookends “Unuberwindbare Wande” and “Diamond Mind” start and finish Knoxville strong.

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