A Worthy Reissue
Brian | California | 05/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Endless Summer" has already been venerated in the minds of many avant-garde music fans as a masterpiece. In fact, it has set the bar for ambient, electronic music in the 21st century thus far. Worthy of countless replays, for so many reasons, "Endless Summer" means so many things to so many different people. It's glitchy electronica ultimately reveals underlying harmonies, its more organic "melodies" really offer pop music in mechanical form, and its often-dreamy ambiance reflects an aesthetic perfectly fitting give the title. If you are new to the avant-garde area, there is nothing I can tell you about this album, because it approaches music different than pop music. I will say this; if you are a fan of love, a fan of summer, a fan of dreams - you should probably listen to Endless Summer.
Corey Turner | Florida | 11/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Endless Summer" is the only album I've herd from Fennesz. With that said, I can't stop replaying this album. Graveling popping glitching noises, slow progressions, and enough variety to distinguish itself. For people not knowing what they are jumping into, simply put it's strongly electronically and synth based.
I feel this is an album that wont be just a passing fad, nostalgic to me, but relaxing and moving enough to gain strong play from. "Made In Hong Kong" opens the album, nothing very distinct or unique yet. The intro is a sandy glitchfest, slowly moving away from it all with a simple beat and a scatter of sound collages. The title track "Endless Summer" is my favorite, warping guitar sounds, accompanied by simple acoustic notes making way for something so memorable. Rarely do tracks speak to people,I feel "Endless Summer" features at least one track that will do so for you. This album contains so much beauty I'm surprised how low key it has played itself out to be.
"A Year In A Minute" seems simply like a year in a minute (Well six if you want to be technical). Waves of loading like sounds make it seem like it's computing many past events. While there is strong variety, it seems like a theme keeps popping its head up. That being the sliding blossoming/swelling guitars. Not as easy to spot as a punk bands occurrences, but plays out in a good sense. The theme leaves as soon as it makes itself clear. "Before I Leave" is a repetitious consistent note pusher, dialing in as the most linear track on the album. The song remains to one note for a bit, moves on to another, mix in some ambiance.
So what you really get here, is an album thats warm yet distant. Dissonant to commercial music, yet reinvigorating to the indepth listeners. Harsh sounds, but so such an amazing album to chill to. May you gain endless summers of enjoyment out of this stunning album."
Sounds like summer; lying on the beach, reminiscing...
Angry Mofo | 07/06/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If My Bloody Valentine had ever released a follow-up to Loveless, it might have sounded like this. Endless Summer is the most natural progression from the Loveless sound that anyone has ever come up with -- the same layers of guitar effects, but scaled back and augmented with ambient atmosphere and IDM electronics. As far as I'm concerned, this is an improvement. On Loveless, there are dozens of layers, but they all play the same extremely basic phrases. Endless Summer has more complex interplay. For example, the title track contrasts gentle, idyllic acoustic strumming with drifting, distant synth drones, and bathes both of these melodic elements in crackling white noise, the kind you get when playing an old LP, but never loud enough to be grating.
IDM influences abound. For instance, the jerky electronic textures in "Got To Move On" recall "Debris" from B12's Electro-Soma, a very underrated album from Warp's early-nineties heyday. But Endless Summer also incorporates guitars into that sound, which the Warp artists never did. Fennesz also makes inspired use of the glitch style in "Made In Hong Kong," where stop-start blips and chords (sounding almost like snippets of accordion playing, though it's probably more guitar) create an intriguingly off-kilter lead-in to the album.
Not every track is as interesting. I'm not sure that "Happy Audio" really needed eleven minutes, the vast majority of which consists of a faint echo submerged by white noise. Though it's not a total loss: toward the end, the song becomes more engaging when the echo seems (barely perceptibly) to shift toward the foreground, and the overall atmosphere is both relaxing and hypnotic. IDM is often able to cheat in this way, drawing out extremely simplistic composition to huge running times without boring the listener too much, by using hypnotic, undulating layers of ambient drone. Unfortunately, this does not occur in "Before I Leave" or "Badminton Girl," which consist of very simple melodies with much less detailed production.
But Endless Summer isn't really about the individual tracks -- the title track and "A Year In A Minute" are slightly different variations on a similar style, and it's difficult to describe the minor differences between them, though both leave a very good impression. This is one of those albums that has to be listened to as a whole; I can't imagine just picking out a single track from the middle of the album as a "single." It creates a very seductive mood, very appropriate to the title -- a languid, relaxed mood, very pleasant with just a touch of minor-key sentiment (perhaps fond yearning for past summers, or the realization that summer will soon be over) creeping in. For this reason, it might just be the best IDM album of the 2000s, the only one that gets the structure of classic nineties IDM, then builds something new and interesting on top of it, without sounding like an academic exercise. (The Field covers similar moods, but with much less sophisticated production.) And it is also a lot more emotionally subtle than Loveless, where the guitars were so densely layered as to be overbearing. Sometimes a little less really can be more.
Surprisingly, it also works well as a car album. "Made In Hong Kong" actually has a very strong low end. Try playing it in the car, and you might be surprised by how bracing it sounds. Even the echoing electronic textures translate well in that setting, taking on depth without getting too muddy. It makes for a great thoughtful interlude between louder albums on a summer road trip.
Lounging around on the beach, watching sunsets, gazing at the ocean -- all of these things are evoked by the peaceful ebb and flow of Endless Summer. Fennesz's ambient-guitar concoction is definitely a mood piece, but it's a mood that reoccurs every summer. It has made its way into my seasonal rotation, and I'm sure I will revisit it."