Released: 9th August 2019
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Agora is Christian Fennesz's first solo album since 'Mahler Remixed' [Touch, 2014] and 'Bécs' [Editions Mego, 2014]. Fennesz writes: "Its a simple story. i had temporarily lost a proper studio workspace and had to move all my gear back to a small bedroom in my flat where I recorded this album. It was all done on headphones, which was rather a frustrating situation at first but later on it felt like back in the day when I produced my first records in the 1990s. In the end it was inspiring. I used very minimal equipment; I didn't even have the courage to plug in all the gear and instruments which were at my disposal. I just used what was to hand."
Fennesz most submersive album in years, Agora's title belies the enveloping sense of warmness created by the artist. Far from being a description of an open space, much of Agora feels like an inward journey. Using frequently pleasing offset pulses and gliding drones that breathe in and out, the sense is often that it is music soundtracking an oceanic world deep within every listener. It feels often like two gravitational pulls, one towards a vaster connectivity and scale. The prosaically titled In My Room feels at once like you're witnessing ancient, benevolent sea creatures drift through open watery space and also mapping the intricacies of your own nervous system, silently and blissfully. Rainfall feels like a Basic Channel cut devoid of a beat, invoking early ambient/techno masters Biosphere, Pole, or even mid-period instrumental Brian Eno.