Christian Fennesz (AT)
Few contemporary laptop artists have attained the stature and universal respect that have greeted Austrian experimental guitarist Christian Fennesz. Beginning his music career in the Viennese underground as a member of the avant-rock group Maische, Fennesz soon broke away to solo undertakings in the then-nascent laptop experimentation scene, producing abrasive and often clinical sessions that began with the guitar only to be manipulated beyond recognition. He found early notoriety on the Austrian Mego imprint with releases such as Hotel Paral.lel and Fennesz Plays (in which he reinterpreted the Rolling Stones and Beach Boys), before finding larger audiences as a member of the well-received Fenn O’Berg, a trio consisting of Fennesz, Jim O’Rourke, and Mego label boss Peter Rehberg. After a steady ascent through the late-90s, Christian Fennesz hit the stratosphere with the release of 2001’s Endless Summer, an album that was universally accepted as an instant classic of modern electronic music. Since then, Fennesz has stayed at the forefront of digital production with a second Fenn O’Berg album, 2004’s Venice, and the sublime 2007 collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto entitled Cendre.