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The Austin 100: Fennesz

Jake Walters
Courtesy of the artist

Hometown: Vienna, Austria

Genre: Electronic

Why We're Excited: While not a discovery in the "promising newcomer" sense — his first EP came out in 1995 — 57-year-old Austrian guitarist and composer Christian Fennesz has spent his career toiling in the margins of ambient and experimental sound. He deserves a wider audience for his dense, hypnotic compositions, which shift and drift with tectonically paced epic grace. At 12 minutes, "In My Room" is the closest his new album Agora has to a single, and when it ends, it's hard not to start the whole thing over again.

Listen to Fennesz's "In My Room"

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)