Fennesz Daniell Buck - Knoxville [Thrill Jockey. - 2010]Fennesz Daniell Buck’s "Knoxville" is a an improvised live collaboration album from Christian Fennesz, David Daniell(member of San Agustin) and Tony Buck(The Necks). This album is a documentation of a collaborative set that the musicians recorded on February 7th, 2009, at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee. Prior to this the group had not met or worked with each other, but were brought together and encouraged by the festival to perform an improvised set.
The introductory “Unuberwindbare Wande” is a track composed in a way best imagined like opening a puzzle from a box, throwing the pieces down and watching them come together. It sets the stage with a timid tangle of sound coming from all sides of the triangle. The piece is built around clattering cymbals, creaking metals and bells gently swaying decorated by subtle hints of droning guitars. As the track progresses it becomes voluptuous with volume and presence, and melts away with ebb and drones until the fade out.
As the album continues a pattern seems to be developing with the second track "Heat from light" coming into fruition with another build up. This time lead by the guitar and electronics delicately coming together from a rousing beep guitar effect and slow paced ambience. Around the five minute mark the track finally leads somewhere, but again with only a slight increase in volume and fullness only to fade out from a mountain-like shoegaze soundscape to pure silence.
The difficulty with this album at this point is the repetitive nature of the tracks following the same build up formula however we do see a break from this in the third track "Antonia" where strengths lie in the undetectable presence of drums and the guitars get a chance at center stage along with some electronic aggregate for ambience. This part of the improvisation seems to have achieved a more composed feel with elegantly flowing reverb guitar melodies and masterful cymbal work. Essentially there is a build up element in the third track as it cuts right into the fourth entitled "Diamond mind" with slight discord to begin it's build up.
The transition is rather unsmooth with chiming percussion, grinding electronics and psychedelic riffing coming from one of the guitars, but it works in a way where the styles pick up and flow back into a less tangled soundscape. Predictably so the tempo increases and the sound is filled with lush sonic textures building up together and eventually dispersing in a calming fashion from the loudest of instances on the album.
Keeping in mind that this was an improvised album under completely random circumstances it is definitely impressive for what it is. I have yet to hear the artists individual projects, but it is apparent that these musicians are quite influential and worthy of checking out. Hopefully I get to hear more of the two guitarists since the drumming is not really something I paid attention to.