Album Reviews

Ozmotic | Fennesz: Senzatempo

The experimental voices join forces in what is one of the collaborations of 2023.

In the pursuit of life, it’s evident that most lose sight on the important aspects of it. Perhaps some don’t believe that escapism is one of the these things, but the truth is that escaping the clutches of reality is near the top. Especially in these times.

While some require a nudge towards the exit, there are also agents and by-products involved. Life altering moments. Music. Perhaps a bit of both. Where the latter is concerned, this is where Christian Fennesz plays a vital role. Everyone experiences different realities of course, but for me, over the years the Austrian experimentalist has been a gateway to escape the dark truths, his music like a vessel on route to a futuristic outer-world.

It essentially makes him a world builder in my eyes, and following the release of his excellent 2019 LP, Agora, Fennesz took a slightly different path, discussing ideas with Touch label mates, Stanislao Lesnoj and SmZ of Turin duo, Ozmotic.

Both Fennesz and Ozmotic are no strangers to collaboration, over the years working alongside the likes of artists not limited to King Midas Sound, Andrea Ayassot, Federico Marchesano, Nelide Bandello, Domenico Caliri and Paolo Porta.

With ideas developing shortly after their initial meeting in Milan, the COVID pandemic soon made this a lockdown concern, with the collages that would form Senzatempo (English translation ‘Timeless’) communicated and exchanged from distance until November 2021, when the trio managed to hole up in a studio and finalise these recordings.

Loscil // Lawrence English: Colours of Air

Shape-shifting elusively with sonic vignettes designed for late nights and dark rooms, alongside Fennesz’s distinctive guitar noodlings, Ozmotic pivot seamlessly in what matches up to the expectations many of us had when news of this collaboration surfaced.

With the abrasive passages Fennesz delivered alongside King Midas Sound with the Edition 1 LP, while Ozmotic offer a more minimalistic approach, the contrast works. The opening title track, a rattling of warm strings, undergirded drones and subtle flickers of sound, as the inevitable crescendo is reached. It’s the euphoric tension that Fennesz has revelled in over the last three decades.

With wispy, static dispatches that scramble the sequence, on Floating Time Ozmotic stamp their authority. A quiet meandering affair which offers the best results at high altitudes, as Fennesz’s guitar glistens like a flashing blade, slicing through the atmosphere.   

Then there’s Motionless Image of Eternity. Reaching the summit of Senzatempo, it’s that sunrise-over-the-horizon moment which Fennesz has produced throughout most of his records over the years. No one does it better than the Austrian, and here he brings Ozmotic along for the trip; the trio occupying the perfect vantage point.

Ozmotic take the reins with the final chapter, Movements I II – a glitch-laden passage with blur-like feedback and whirring drama that is enveloped in the uncertainty of these times. In what is fast becoming something likened to the golden age of collaboration, with Senzatempo Ozmotic and Fennesz is yet another union that captures the imagination. Meticulous sonic architecture of two musical languages, cross-pollinating into something that is the ultimate dreamscape. 

Senzatempo is out now via Touch. Purchase from Bandcamp.

By Simon Kirk

Product from the happy generation. Proud purple bin owner surviving on music, books and LFC. New book, Welcome To Charmsville, available from all major vendors.

3 replies on “Ozmotic | Fennesz: Senzatempo”

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