Fennesz uses guitar and notebook computers to make multilayered compositions that blend melody and treated samples with glitch-influenced sounds and washes of white noise. He lives and works in Vienna, Austria.
Fennesz was born and raised in Austria and studied music formally in art school. He started playing guitar around the age of 8 or 9.
The emphasis on the guitar texture and the burying of pop melodies under layers of effects are common features of Fennesz’s music. Ultimately, this is something that can be traced to the various Fripp & Eno collaborations of the 1970s, and the early guitar synthesis work of Chuck Hammer who recorded with Lou Reed and David Bowie. Also, the music of the Beach Boys has had an influence on Fennesz, as revealed by his cover of “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)” on the Plays EP. The Beach Boys influence is mentioned in a Pitchforkmedia interview, in relation to the album title, cover art, and melodic emphasis of his Endless Summer LP.