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coverpic flag Austria / flag US - Illinois - Full Moon 245 - 08/18/16

Christian Fennesz & Jim O'Rourke
It's Hard For Me To Say I'm Sorry
Editions Mego

I'm sure I'm not the only one who fell in love with the digital utopia of Christian Fennesz' Endless Summer, back in 2001. I also believe I'm not the only one who has been a little underwhelmed by the Austrian guitarist's output ever since, often a little too safe and self-consciously serious, the clicks, pops and danger of his 90's music filed away.

There's no hard edges to be found on It's Hard for Me to Say I'm Sorry, his new collaboration with the always hard working Jim O'Rourke, but this time around I'm perfectly fine with the situation. What we get here is two 20 minutes pieces of slow moving loveliness, guitar abstraction curling around itself like whispers of smoke. It's all shamelessly romantic, daring the listener to embrace the simple beauty of it all.

Fennesz has the dominant voice on this record. O'Rourke's own ambient music is often more minimal, provoking feelings of ambivalence and doubt, but I haven't heard the lushness of Fennesz in such a concentrated form in many years, so I guess the teamwork turned out OK. There's nothing new or radical on display here, and if you follow the electroacoustic/improv/ambient/whatever scene you've probably heard sounds like these a thousand times before. But sometimes pure prettiness from guys who know what they're doing is just what's needed. It's Hard for Me to Say I'm Sorry is recommended to all you digital romantics out there.

PS! It's Hard For Me To Say I'm Sorry was released in late June, and was described by the label as 'a mix of gurgling harmonies and shimmering frequencies that move from gentle sounds to full-on distortion.'

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