‘Szampler’ Remastered and Available Digitally for the First Time


Fennesz’s ‘Szampler’ is now available digitally from The Digital Archive of Tapeworm’s Bandcamp page: datworm.bandcamp.com. First available in 2010 on cassette-only and long-since deleted, this 2021 edition was remastered by Fennesz himself in Vienna on 24 March 2021.

Fennesz writes: “I was surprised how emotional it was to revisit these audio samples, originally a collection of short sounds I made for my Ensoniq EPS-16+ and ASR-10 samplers – a sound library I used for these instruments from 1990 until 2000.

The EPS-16+ was an innovative early sampler. 16-bit, variable sampling rates from 11.2kHz to 44.6kHz – with a slim 1Mb of memory it had just about 11.5 seconds of sampling time in mono at 44.6kHz. The ASR-10 was a major upgrade with 16MB of RAM, which gave me much more sampling time, and also had a built-in effects processor and a sequencer. It was a sampling workstation that allowed me to produce full albums. (I should also mention I used an Atari at around this time…)

My first EP “Instrument” (Mego, 1995) and debut album “Hotel Paral.lel” (Mego, 1997) were made with the ASR-10 and the Atari. Many of these sounds appeared on later albums and some are still in use today, especially during live performances, where I play them in a Max/MSP patch. This patch was designed by Klaus Filip, who introduced me to Ensoniq samplers back in the late 80s/early 90s…

I had first compiled “Szampler” for The Tapeworm in 2010. However it wasn’t until 2021, while reassembling the original samples for digital remastering, that its emotional connections began to reveal themselves; it’s perplexing how involving it was this time around… Releasing them digitally somehow feels more exposing. The process has taken me on a retrospective journey which which I am still undertaking.

I hope you find this version of “Szampler” as involving as I do. The sounds have accompanied me throughout my musical working life, and as such carry a weight of memories in themselves.” – Fennesz, Vienna, 4 April 2021.