posted on November 10, 2007 at 11:36 pm

brian peter george st.baptiste de la salle eno
an important cat
to be sure
eno was having an extraordinary decade
he would also of course
weigh in as co producer/conceptualist
for bowies incredible trilogy
low heroes the lodger
(although i am not so fond of lodger)
of course not having been there myself
what i say is mere speculation but
to me bowie and eno seem a nice combo
the all instrumental side of lows got enos hand everywhere
but mr bowie was no slouch either
and its seems a pretty much half half collaboration
as enos familiar motifs are given more light and shade
bowies beautiful languageless singing on subterraneans
years before sigur ros
although slightly after german band magma
who sang in their own gothic language…
one of my favourite pieces of music bar none:
crystal japan from these sessions
but these pieces were instrumentals but not ambient
although the feeling of ambience was at all the corners
of course
there is no clear line where music becomes ambient
one mans ambient is another mans new age is another mans satie
intention is all here
eno enabled bowie i guess
assisted and encouraged him
to mine a strange alien vein
untouched in rock at this point
very few people understood low at the time
reliable critic charles shaar murray
a big fan of db up until here
dismissed low with something like:
bowie and eno should trade tapes in the post
and spare us this stuff…
i loved it
it pioneered more frontiers in the 1st song
than most people do in a lifetime
in 1975
eno released discreet music
theres a blurb on the back
with diagrams of this and that
the music consists of a synth phrase
several phrases
interpenetrating each other
dying away slowly
the effect is serene detachment
like the tao turned into music
it was partially randomly generated
it should be listened to as quietly as possible
listening to it loud is doing it a disservice
let it blend in
let it float
do not concentrate on it too much
meditate to it
let it open doors in your memory
enjoy its subtlety and peaceful humility
a beautiful track and a first
the rest of the album is some cut up neo classic music
not bad
but not really ambient as such
next up
eno made the exquisitely titled
before and after science
to tell you the truth
only the last four songs approach some level of ambience
cluster join eno for by this river
at the time no music in rock was like this
even the songs julie with…
spider and i
as ambient as songs can possibly be
rock up until this point had been pretty me me me
it was all about me the ego the rocksinger
even eno himself on his earlier records
but he begins to disinhabit his songs as he goes along
eventually on spider and i
becoming a nirvana like emptiness
where things happen in a prolonged slo mo haze
we sleep in the morning
we dream of a ship that sails away
a thousand miles away..
through hollow lands is dedicated to harold budd
with whom eno would make 2 albums
the last four tracks on this record are sublime
music for airports came next
recordings of voices
randomly cut/fade
soothing hanging austere
yoga music
in 1986
i always did my yoga to this
totally different to discreet
the critics didnt lap it up much
some long forgotten critic criticised
the instrumentals on unearthed sneering
kilbeys music for dentists waiting rooms
it was, after all
a back handed compliment
eno was proposing that instead of the piped elevator music
or even worse nowadays
the latest idol winners super melodramatic maudlin schlock
we have real calming uplifting thought provoking sounds
oh eno if only if only if only
i envisage a world full of buildings with murals
the pavements decorated with chalk paintings
the cafes serving vegan food and mother natures own herbs
and the airports
ah the people would be proceeding thoughtfully
as this music drifted through the queues and the kisses goodbye
as this music permeates the luggage handlers and the hostesses
amazing stuff
actually named ambient 1 : music for airports
music for films
instrumental pieces and snippets for films as yet unmade
ironically you do hear this music in tv shows a lot these days
lovely pieces usually sad or sombre
some even approaching non ambience
in that they do demand your attention
because they are very tasty
the album still has a couple of downright edgy things like
patrolling wire borders
quite un-ambient in a way
as is a measured room
with its pulsating bass like a chase scene
but confusingly the title
music for films implies a continuation
of the series which music for airports implies
by being ambient one
funny i never realised this before but there is no ambient two
there is three and four but no two
and music for films is only partially ambient
but recommended
a borderline case of ambience
tracks like strange light however
are like discreet music but shorter
and a little more painted in perhaps
eno released fourth world vol 1: possible musics
with jon hassell the trumpeter
note the album is credited
jon hassell and brian eno
this is music you never heard before
the first time i heard the treated trumpet sound
primal hot pulsing music
unrelenting random blowing african tropical raining music
villages in the deluge
arrows fly in the teeming air
drunk on jungle juice and hallucinatin’ with malaria n ibogaine
threatening eyes in the trees
dark swollen rivers with sharp toothed teeth
meet a medicine man witch doctor raving shaman music
hassells almost unrecognizable trumpet like a stoned bird
cooing coaxing
the percussion clicks away tinny and insistent
the trumpet sounds like a voice is trying to break free
to be born and sing
singing in indonesian or in incan or ethiopian or something
not for everyone
one of my favourite records
for listening for yoga
for atmosphere
for any occaision
mysterious music
probably not ambient
worthy of your praise

tomorrow : ambient conclusion

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