Fennesz: Fa 2012 (Editions Mego)
Christian Fennesz released “Fa” as part of his impressive debut Hotel Paral.lel on Mego back in 1997. Here we are 15 years later, with Fennesz reworking it in a new version that sounds much broader, clearer and just better, a real treat for fans of his backcatalogue and new listeners alike. It’s remarkable how much better it sounds given that it’s largely the same in terms of the pieces and parts. The rhythm section is much better mixed and produced, and his guitar comes through much clearer. The wall of noise and feedback is still there, but as his repertoire reflects over the years, the noise isn’t the most important thing anymore. Mark Fell, whose name has become so prominent in the Mego camp over the past few years, contributes his own rework, an 11-minute twitchy workout that splits the difference between his own stuttering experiments and Fennesz’s textural and rhythmic original. Curiously, he adds Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech over the mix. They’re a healthy complement to one another, though Fennesz’s original is hard to beat.