Album review
April 3, 2005

Tracking list

  1. Grounded
  2. Konstrukt
  3. Interlude
  4. None Of Them (Original Version)
  5. Aware
  6. No C.I.A.
  7. Stony Road
  8. Got It
  9. Thrill (Album edit)
  10. South
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 3 Backing : 3 Production : 3 Sound quality : 3 Sleeve : 2

Out of the Berlin school of minimalism and stripped bare cold metal rhythm comes the new batch of tracks from Fenin.

Although he quotes his influences as The Disciples and Dub Syndicate, these tracks have far more in common with the abstract sounds that very early ON-U Sound produced, such as The Missing Brazilians album "War zone". They are also reminiscent of seminal Cabaret Voltaire industrial cut -ups, such as the cold soundscapes of "Slugging For Jesus" -- now made available once more after years of deletion on Soul Jazz compilation, "In the Beginning There Was Rhythm" --, or early Muslim Gauze tracks.

All these comparisons are good pointers: If you are interested in the above artists, you'll probably find these Fenin tunes interesting.

Fenin is by all accounts a young artist, and on the evidence presented here he does show promise for the future. These are deceptively simple constructions, but on further listening, offer complex rhythm patterns to involve the mind -- At their best, these tracks aspire to the paradoxical complexity of Steve Reich's album "Drumming", in which basic percussion patterns build up into sophisticated structures.

The simple one-word titles express the bareness and austerity of the sound: simple yet evocative.

A possible objection could be that some of the compositions at points seem to self consciously take too much from the stripped down Basic Channel/Rhythm and Sound/Paul St Hilaire style. Over all though, Fenin has avoided all the more obvious clichés of his chosen genre -- recommended for those of you into cold and very urban minimalism.

Professor Barnabas