»The band smoothly glides between genres, not just between songs, but within them as well: Lead single »HBW« adds a sunny, sexy energy to repetitive electronic rhythms that recall a ride down Kraftwerk’s Autobahn, while »Haha Lol« inverts that dynamic by pairing a groovy-’60s pop-psychedelic melody with a cold electronic beat, giving the song a very postmodern edge.«
— AV Club
»The Room«, Fenster's fourth album and their first release on Altin Village & Mine marks the beginning of a new chapter for the band. After releasing three albums, a feature length film, and touring extensively throughout Europe and North America since 2012, »The Room« serves as an entry point into their sonic evolution. The essential characteristic of the band is transformation—within and between genres, albums, and songs. Their sound is a window framing psychedelic, groovy, hypnogogic, playful pop.
Fenster is Elias Hock (Germany), Jonathan Jarzyna (Germany), Lucas Ufo (Fance) and JJ Weihl (USA). Their mission in creating this album was to compose and arrange every song together in a room. It is an experiment in collective creativity that pushed all of them to transcend their individuality and create something together which is greater than the sum of its parts.
The songs were tracked live in a house where the band ate, slept, and played together. Often the songs were recorded without implementing a click track. They were intent on finding and locking into a human groove—one open to imperfection—while still maintaining a tightness between them. They wanted to make the songs feel alive—as if the listener were present in the room with them in the moment of creation.
The album's title track »The Room« opens the record like a rollercoaster ride. There is a tension in the first bars that ties us to earth, a minimal riff that guides us to the first chorus where we feel we are slowly lifting into the air—and by the time we reach the second chorus it has exploded into a space far away from the planet's gravitational pull.
The band's use of juxtaposition is not just a way of channeling a vast library of musical genres and concepts, it is a means of expression. Combining tender pop melodies with kraut-beats, disco grooves and psychedelia frees the band from any one sound and creates a genre all its own.
This playfulness is especially vibrant in songs like »Rhythm A« and »HAHA lol« which deconstruct and fuse together disparate moments of explosive rock, tender harmonies, percussion made of splashing water, voices from a radio, and electric piano. Even »Feel Better«, a sparkly pop ballad is cracked wide open by a long trippy interlude that appears unexpectedly within an otherwise classic structure.
The cover art, created by the band's own Lucas Ufo, invites us into a room in the shape of a human skull. If one looks »out« the window in the picture, one finds oneself looking in to an infinite portal of rooms within rooms. The record plays a lot with this idea of perception. In »HBW«, the relationship between the bass and the drums creates the feeling of an infinity loop. The lyrics lend an enigmatic tint to the landscape of so called objective reality v. perceived reality:
»I was a phase — you were going through — said I was the one but there is no one — there's only the sun — that gives shape to the moon«
The record starts with »The Room« and ends with »Two Doors«. Maybe one door is an exit, and one leads to another room... who knows? The song has something mysterious and expansive, like a digital ocean flooding the room, carrying everything away. The whole process of making a record is about capturing a moment in time. This is the record they made – in this point in time, all together, in a room. The last words of the record roll out with the waves: »What you leave behind for someone else to find — Two doors inside — neither one is right«
released September 14, 2018
Catalog Number: AVM 066
All songs written and played by Fenster. Recorded at Redroom Studios in Vecchiano, Italy. Mastered by Josh Bonati in New York City, USA. Album artwork and design by Lucas Ufo.