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Fennesz, ‘Black Sea’ (Touch)

In a previous epoch, Austrianguitarist/laptop composerChristian Fennesz would be a New Age enabler, strumming pristine instrumental ruminations. In the 21st century, though, he can’t help but conjure oil slicks and hazmat alarms, practically submerging the pastoral melodies. His breakout album, 2001’s Endless Summer, scoured Beach Boys sunshine with white noise, and his fifth, Black Sea, deftly strikes a balance between those extremes. There’s shimmering Loveless sludge on “Saffron Revolution” and Cocteau Twins gaseousness on “The Colour of Three,” proving that Fennesz stands alone in the new pollution.

Listen: Christian Fennesz, “Saffron Revolution”(DOWNLOAD MP3)