I get the feeling that Christian Fennesz’s image has been forever defined by Endless Summer. Never mind that the wide release preceding it, Plus Forty-Seven Degrees 56’ 37” Minus Sixteen Degrees 51’ 08”, was a headache in a handbasket, and nearly everything he’s done since feels right at home with the ‘ambient’ tag attached to it. Endless Summer seemed as close to a guitar pop record as experimental electronica could be—one thickly veiled by scrambled processing and song structures that don’t make themselves terribly obvious, but whose title, cover art, sun-kissed aura, and surprising humanity paid homage to a tradition of amiable pop music from the Beach Boys onward.
Given the immersive quality of his music, it makes sense that Fennesz has a thing for water. From Hotel Paral.lel on, it figures on the cover of every solo studio album; even the landlocked train station that adorns Plus forty seven degrees 56’ 37" minus sixteen degrees 51’ 08" looks decidedly humid, shrouded in mist. On his last – and least involving – long player Venice, the symbolism got pretty heavy-handed.