By Martin Schray
Guitarists Christian Fennesz and Jim O’Rourke share a long history. With Editions Mego founder Peter Rehberg they have recorded several albums under the moniker Fenn O’Berg since 1999, however, this is their first duo album together. On It’s hard for me to say I’m sorry Fennesz and O’Rourke use a lot of digital processing and electronics apart from their guitars. Fennesz contributes reverberant textures while O’Rourke employs rather clean harmonic clusters and extensive use of the pedal steel.
The result of these different roles is a symphony of layered harmonies. Detail after detail is added to the big picture, the two create excesses of melancholy and beauty. In general, the music is a great cinematic soundscape, it flickers more than clear in front of your inner eye before it slowly fades into the distance. Constituents are little bell tones, echoes, quicksilver chords and an ecstatic wall-of-sound (one shouldn’t mistake for bombast). “Wouldn’t wanna be swept away“, the second track, sounds as if you were surfing on a wave of tiny glass particles. The dramatic effect which results from this music is reminiscent of the compositions of Ryuichi Sakamoto or David Sylvian’s instrumental works. An album for crystal-clear, ice-cold winter days.
It’s Hard For Me To Say I’m Sorry is available on vinyl and as a download.
You can listen to an excerpt here: