Dusted Reviews

Fennesz / Dafeldecker / Brandlmayr - Till the old world’s blown up and a new one is created

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Fennesz / Dafeldecker / Brandlmayr

Album: Till the old world’s blown up and a new one is created

Label: Mosz

Review date: Feb. 18, 2009

The title of this collaboration between Christian Fennesz, Werner Dafeldecker and Martin Brandlmayr, who have worked together and separately in projects like Polwechsel, Trapist, and Autistic Daughters to name just three among dozens, should stoke a satisfying internal glow if you warm to truth in advertising. It essentializes the trio’s working method, which is to play some music, then work on it separately, work on it together, and work on it some more – destroying something to make something else. The result is spread across two CDs, one with three shortish tracks completed by each participant and another with a single 34-minute long composition crafted by the committee. They worked over the material for four years before letting it go, and one wonders if they ever struggled with the idea of when to stop. While the earlier products of the process are quite swell, the end result seems overdone.

The trio didn’t attribute responsibility for the three solo interpretations, which puts the focus upon the sound rather than the sound-maker. The sounds hold up quite well, and when succinctly stated, they make a strong impact. If you’ve heard anything by these guys, you’ll recognize certain elements: sparse brushed snares in counterpoint with a booming bass drum; big pixilated washes of guitar; and a sense of stillness at the music’s center. Fennesz might have approached the original session as a chance to get his guitar hero ya-ya’s out; the big buzz that starts “Me Son” makes good on the innumerable tenuous My Bloody Valentine comparisons applied to his output over the years, and the twangy melody that rears up behind it would fit easily on the Grizzly Man soundtrack.

A whole album of music that pointed, beautiful and overtly emotional would be just grand, but we get just 14 minutes squirreled away on CD 2, which is one of those 3” CDs encased by a 2” plastic ring that just beg you to perceive its contents as a bonus. And why are their two CDs in the first place? The album’s total running time is just 50 minutes, which could easily fit onto one. Maybe the musicians wanted to separate the solo interpretations from the main track, which incorporates several long passages of silence, but they also invite the perception that CD No. 2 is, well, secondary, when in fact, it’s much stronger than disc 1.

There’s nothing wrong with the longer disc’s contents, which, aside from some additional processing and piano-innards playing by Brandlmayr, are identical to the second disc’s. But while the reiteration of select moments, often shortened and manipulated and then shortened some more, well represents the process by which the music was made, it makes for tiring listening — a classic example of more not equaling more. This could have been a strong entry in Fennesz, Dafeldecker, and Brandlmayr’s collective discography, but the emphasis on exposing process at the expense of outcome renders it a mere footnote.

By Bill Meyer

Read More

View all articles by Bill Meyer

Find out more about Mosz

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.