Most serious guitar players would probably throw up if they heard this, but Christian Fennesz is no purist. A profound melodic sensibility seldom found in modern experimental or computer music, and a total rejection of the preciousness that typically pervades solo guitar projects makes Endless Summer an exceptionally unique piece. In 2001, most of the artists operating in this sphere were still going hard on that Mille Plateaux Clicks ’N Cuts sound, and Endless Summer cut through all the noise (literally) with breezy, bittersweet surf guitar chords oozing through the murk. Editions Mego labelmate Oneohtrix Point Never once affectionately summed it up as Fennesz’s “Beach Boys record,” and he’s not too far off: Endless Summer shares its title with The Beach Boys’ compilation of pre-Pet Sounds singles, and Fennesz even recorded a perverse cover version of "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)" a couple years before this. While the title is an obvious nod to the beach, surf music, and everything most normal people like about summertime; for some of us sunshine-averse people who hate sweating (yours truly included), the prospect of an “Endless Summer” is actually a total nightmare, and the intertwining of these contending feelings of cheer and dread is what makes Endless Summer feel so special. Side 1 opener “Made In Hong Kong” starts the session off with what sounds like scanning a post-nuclear AM dial in search of the perfect tune, before settling into the title track, and the understated lead that winds it down will haunt you and keep you buzzing for weeks. “Shisheido,” “A Year In A Minute” and “Caecilia” offer similarly charming hooks. This 2010 deluxe reissue expands swimmingly on the original album, stretching out onto two LPs with the addition of four extra tracks: “Endless,” “47 Blues,” lush vocoder ballad “Badminton Girl” and the devastating “Ohne Sonne.” Gatefold sleeve with new artwork, includes code for digital download. Recommended.
- black double vinyl pressing
- expanded edition w/ 4 additional tracks
- gatefold sleeve
- digital download included
- original release year: 2001
- music label: Editions Mego 2010
reviewed by carparts, bottles & cutlery 08/2018