FENNESZ / SAKAMOTO - Sala Santa Cecilia
[Touch, www.touchmusic.org.uk]

Nearly everyone's favourite laptop wonder-boy Christian Fennesz finally got together with one of my favourite artists and lovers of the ambient genre, Ryuichi Sakamoto, to put together a wonderful, albeit a brief composition named after the concert hall in Rome, where it was recorded late last year. The back cover of the CD digipack features what resembles fireworks [or moving lights], which suits the music perfectly. It's not that the fireworks fly in the literal sense here, it's just that these two exhibit such incredible chemistry, almost as if to tell us, we've been meaning to get together since who knows when. What's great about this record is that I stopped caring which musician plays what instrument. So what if Fennesz plays the trumpet and Sakamoto gets his kicks playing wild percussion? It REALLY makes no difference. With so many ideas being born in such a short span of time [the composition lasts a bare 19 minutes], while so many similarities are found, these two seem to be joined at the head. Starting off with a louder, gurgling section, we have sounds of a lively saw or perhaps water trickling down the drain, or maybe a light thundershower. Who knows? Who cares? The beauty of all of this music is your imagination must be used at its fullest. Near final stages of the composition, the prevailing sound is that of a skipping, muted CD, which has just gone berserk. More sparkling, echo sounds appear as the composition gives off its final breath. They came together for only one night last November. We can only hope this astonishing collaboration will turn into something more tangible, more permanent.

- Tom Sekowski

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