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Ambient - Released July 4, 2011 | Warp Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Album du mois Trax - Hi-Res Audio - Sélectionné par Ecoutez Voir
Drums Between the Bells is a collaboration by producer Brian Eno and poet Rick Holland. It was recorded just after Eno finished work on 2010's Small Craft on a Milk Sea, his debut for Warp, and it followed on the release schedule less than a year later. In that sense, the timing was good for such a risky project. Music and poetry are often difficult companions, and combining them is best left to experts; fortunately, Eno is just such an expert. Although Holland is an obscure poet, he first came to Eno’s notice back in the late ‘90s (through a university project), and his poetry is very good. Although his words and thoughts are impressionistic, his themes are easier to peg: urban living, science, and the intersection of philosophy and biology. The music is almost entirely Eno’s own, with only a few tracks featuring guest credits -- much less so than his previous album. While scattered moments here prove that percussion is still not his strong suit, the production is inviting, innovative, and a larger contributor to the general excellence of the record than the poetry. Eno draws mostly on ambient music for these productions, and only occasionally processes the vocals. One other characteristic, aside from Eno and Holland, makes this an unlikely success: there are a total of nine voices heard here (Holland only recites on one track). The decision to vary the speaking participants helps distinguish each piece, and gives the album just the hint of variety it needs. ~ John Bush
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LUX

Pop/Rock - Released November 12, 2012 | Warp Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio - Sélectionné par Ecoutez Voir
On his third offering for Warp, Brian Eno returns to ambient music once again. He displayed it on his label debut, 2010's Small Craft on a Milk Sea, but the various pieces on it were either rejects from The Lovely Bones soundtrack or developed with Leo Abrahams on the Everything That Happens Will Happen Today tour. The music on Lux is a single, 75-minute composition divided into four segments that are between 18 and 20 minutes. They were composed to accompany an exhibit of Eno's visual art in Turin. Lux adheres to his ambient principle of making music that is "rewarding attention but not being so strict as to demand it. There is an elemental drift in all four parts of this work, but that's not all there is. Aided once again by Abrahams on Moog guitar, and violins and violas by Neil Catchpole, Eno's electronic textures and drones are also accented by the piano's stray single notes or minimal chords, and skeletal use of bass and/or acoustic guitar. But that sense of drift, while inescapable, is actually deliberate and tactile. Music swells and wanes. Alterations of mood and the suggestion of various light shades can be altered in startling fashion--15:47 of "Lux 1," when the piece's tonality drops with piano keys played in the lower register deliberately adding an ominous sense of drama. Here again, Eno's sense of creating space all around the droning themes simply moves one idea along to the next place. As each section fades and disappears, the next emerges, unobtrusively, the new one contains only the trace memory of what previously transpired. While each track exists in a self-contained sphere, it is holistic in its relationship to the others. The listener's isn't so much absorbed in actively engaging the composition, but absorbed by it. That said, there is great reward in focusing on what "happens." That's because Lux betrays implications of vastness just underneath its dulcet tones and restrained palette. ~ Thom Jurek
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Ambient - Released January 1, 2005 | EG Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
When listening to Music For Airports for the first time, fans of the glam-Brian Eno from the Roxy Music period and his album Here Come The Warm Jets must have been blown away… Goodbye bowiesque sounds, hello the experiments of Terry Riley, Steve Reich, John Cage, LaMonte Young and other wisemen who were mad about minimalist music. In 1978, Eno (ahead of his time) conceived four long tracks of instrumental music each over 10 minutes long. Sounding like movies soundtracks, these explorations to the borders of new age and these climatic developments of an astonishing sensuality prefigure an entire part of what the electronic music will sound like a few years later, and ambient music in particular. All that’s left is to listen to the atmospheric masterpieces in airports… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Ambient - Released January 1, 2004 | EG Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
When listening to Music For Airports for the first time, fans of the glam-Brian Eno from the Roxy Music period and his album Here Come The Warm Jets must have been blown away… Goodbye bowiesque sounds, hello the experiments of Terry Riley, Steve Reich, John Cage, LaMonte Young and other wisemen who were mad about minimalist music. In 1978, Eno (ahead of his time) conceived four long tracks of instrumental music each over 10 minutes long. Sounding like movies soundtracks, these explorations to the borders of new age and these climatic developments of an astonishing sensuality prefigure an entire part of what the electronic music will sound like a few years later, and ambient music in particular. All that’s left is to listen to the atmospheric masterpieces in airports… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rock - Released January 1, 2004 | EMI Marketing

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Eno's solo debut, Here Come the Warm Jets, is a spirited, experimental collection of unabashed pop songs on which Eno mostly reprises his Roxy Music role as "sound manipulator," taking the lead vocals but leaving much of the instrumental work to various studio cohorts (including ex-Roxy mates Phil Manzanera and Andy Mackay, plus Robert Fripp and others). Eno's compositions are quirky, whimsical, and catchy, his lyrics bizarre and often free-associative, with a decidedly dark bent in their humor ("Baby's on Fire," "Dead Finks Don't Talk"). Yet the album wouldn't sound nearly as manic as it does without Eno's wildly unpredictable sound processing; he coaxes otherworldly noises and textures from the treated guitars and keyboards, layering them in complex arrangements or bouncing them off one another in a weird cacophony. Avant-garde yet very accessible, Here Come the Warm Jets still sounds exciting, forward-looking, and densely detailed, revealing more intricacies with every play. ~ Steve Huey
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 4, 2018 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

A real soundtrack for a film by John Carpenter (such as, for example The Fog, written in 1980), Kazakhstan, the first track on this vast five-hour box set, sets the tone. Enormous blankets of sound, serpentine melodies, dustings of notes scattered across parallel dimensions, with in(de)finite contours. Music For Installations is the first collection of all of the music that Brian Eno (who turns 70 in 2018) composed for different art exhibitions from 1986 to the present day. When the Briton visited the Venice Biennale, the Russian Museum in St Petersburg or the Sydney Opera House, he decided to accompany each of these exhibitions with a new, tailor-made musical composition, and he brings magisterial skill to a genre of which he has been the uncontested champion since 1978’s visionary Ambient 1: Music for Airports: the atmospheric wanderings, the sensory, spartan touches, the minimalist and languorous structures dominate the field. By bringing together music and painting, Brian Eno has fun creating contrasts, and subverting common points of reference: “If you think of music", he says, "as a moving, changing form, and painting as a still form, what I’m trying to do is make very still music and paintings that move, “I’m trying to find in both of those forms, the space in between the traditional concept of music and the traditional concept of painting." There can be no doubt that this new collection of ambient sounds, always exhilarating, often utterly hypnotic, is one of the most exciting displays of Brian Eno's genius. This is not to be missed. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Electro - Released January 1, 2005 | EMI Catalogue

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Rock - Released January 1, 2004 | EMI Marketing

A universally acknowledged masterpiece, Another Green World represents a departure from song structure and toward a more ethereal, minimalistic approach to sound. Despite the stripped-down arrangements, the album's sumptuous tone quality reflects Eno's growing virtuosity at handling the recording studio as an instrument in itself (à la Brian Wilson). There are a few pop songs scattered here and there ("St. Elmo's Fire," "I'll Come Running," "Golden Hours"), but most of the album consists of deliberately paced instrumentals that, while often closer to ambient music than pop, are both melodic and rhythmic; many, like "Sky Saw," "In Dark Trees," and "Little Fishes," are highly imagistic, like paintings done in sound that actually resemble their titles. Lyrics are infrequent, but when they do pop up, they follow the free-associative style of albums past; this time, though, the humor seems less bizarre than gently whimsical and addled, fitting perfectly into the dreamlike mood of the rest of the album. Most of Another Green World is like experiencing a soothing, dream-filled slumber while awake, and even if some of the pieces have dark or threatening qualities, the moments of unease are temporary, like a passing nightmare whose feeling lingers briefly upon waking but whose content is forgotten. Unlike some of his later, full-fledged ambient work, Eno's gift for melodicism and tight focus here keep the entirety of the album in the forefront of the listener's consciousness, making it the perfect introduction to his achievements even for those who find ambient music difficult to enjoy. ~ Steve Huey
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Electro - Released January 1, 2004 | EMI Marketing

On Land represented a significant move away from the strategies Brian Eno had employed in earlier ambient releases such as Discreet Music and Music for Airports. Instead of using a specific process to generate music with minimal interference from the composer, he here opts for a more gestural and intuitive approach, creating dreamy pictures of some specific geographical points or evocative memories of them. It's quite easy to imagine these works as soundtracks to mysterious footage of imprecisely glimpsed landscapes. On Land is an album that would become highly influential with the rising tide of new age composers, though few if any would capture the chilly beauty or latent romanticism that is part and parcel of Eno. The first piece, "Lizard Point," includes an early recorded performance of Bill Laswell on bass, and one imagines that his association with Eno was a crucial factor in the ambient directions his later work would sometimes take. On Land remains a landmark event in the genre, as well as one of its high-water marks, and sounds entirely up to date 20 years after its initial release. A superb effort. ~ Brian Olewnick
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Rock - Released January 1, 2004 | EMI Marketing

Continuing the twisted pop explorations of Here Come the Warm Jets, Eno's sophomore album, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), is more subdued and cerebral, and a bit darker when he does cut loose, but it's no less thrilling once the music reveals itself. It's a loose concept album -- often inscrutable, but still playful -- about espionage, the Chinese Communist revolution, and dream associations, with the more stream-of-consciousness lyrics beginning to resemble the sorts of random connections made in dream states. Eno's richly layered arrangements juxtapose very different treated sounds, yet they blend and flow together perfectly, hinting at the directions his work would soon take with the seamless sound paintings of Another Green World. Although not quite as enthusiastic as Here Come the Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain is made accessible through Eno's mastery of pop song structure, a form he would soon transcend and largely discard. ~ Steve Huey
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Electro - Released January 1, 2004 | EMI Marketing

Before and After Science is really a study of "studio composition" whereby recordings are created by deconstruction and elimination: tracks are recorded and assembled in layers, then selectively subtracted one after another, resulting in a composition and sound quite unlike that at the beginning of the process. Despite the album's pop format, the sound is unique and strays far from the mainstream. Eno also experiments with his lyrics, choosing a sound-over-sense approach. When mixed with the music, these lyrics create a new sense or meaning, or the feeling of meaning, a concept inspired by abstract sound poet Kurt Schwitters (epitomized on the track "Kurt's Rejoinder," on which you actually hear samples from Schwitters' "Ursonate"). Before and After Science opens with two bouncy, upbeat cuts: "No One Receiving," featuring the offbeat rhythm machine of Percy Jones and Phil Collins (Eno regulars during this period), and "Backwater." Jones' analog delay bass dominates on the following "Kurt's Rejoinder," and he and Collins return on the mysterious instrumental "Energy Fools the Magician." The last five tracks (the entire second side of the album format) display a serenity unlike anything in the pop music field. These compositions take on an occasional pastoral quality, pensive and atmospheric. Cluster joins Eno on the mood-evoking "By This River," but the album's apex is the final cut, "Spider and I." With its misty emotional intensity, the song seems at once sad yet hopeful. The music on Before and After Science at times resembles Another Green World ("No One Receiving") and Here Come the Warm Jets ("King's Lead Hat") and ranks alongside both as the most essential Eno material. ~ David Ross Smith
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2005 | EMI Catalogue

A listener familiar with the pedigree of the albums of Brian Eno might assume that the Virgin/Astralwerks release More Music for Films is merely a repackaging of Music for Films, Vol. 2, a bonus album included within the LP boxed set Working Backwards. Such an assumption would be incorrect, as More Music for Films represents a new spin on a variety of soundtrack material made by Eno in the years 1976-1983, including some tracks drawn from Music for Films, Vol. 2, others from Eno Box I: Instrumentals, and at least six selections never made public before. According to Virgin, these are taken from the limited-edition promo LP of Music for Films, a two-album set predating the familiar EG release by two years and only circulated to filmmakers and journalists. The last four tracks on More Music for Films relate to Apollo, a justly admired soundtrack jointly created by Eno, Roger Eno, and Daniel Lanois. Some of the previously unissued material is made up of alternate versions of pieces already familiar to listeners who know Eno's work well, but still others will appear to be wholly new even to his most seasoned fans. This is part of Virgin's Brian Eno - The Soundtrack Series and like the others has been remastered using the Direct Stream Digital method and comes encased in a thick, transparent plastic outer cover. The glue holding this cover together is starting to come apart, even though the review copy has only been in the office a couple of months, so don't expect this part of the package to hold up over time. Eno's music, though, has held up remarkably well in face of the enormous changes that have occurred in the realm of pop-oriented electronic music since the last of these tracks were laid down in 1983. Relatively few of these pieces jump out at the listener, and the overall mood fits comfortably within the realm of his ambient music, but taken as a whole the collection has a tad darker atmosphere than, say, Music for Airports. The running time of More Music for Films is certainly more generous than the average entries in Brian Eno - The Soundtrack Series, and even though it is not as essential as the original Music for Films collection, it nonetheless affords a fascinating glimpse into Eno's workshop during his early days -- a period some might say was Eno's best. ~ Uncle Dave Lewis
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World - Released January 1, 2006 | Virgin Catalogue

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Electro - Released January 1, 2004 | EMI Marketing

The latter part of 1975 was a remarkably creative period for Brian Eno. With his masterpiece Another Green World, Eno began moving away from the structure and sound of pop music toward a more static instrumental model, influenced in part by Erik Satie and strongly informed by his prior collaborations with Robert Fripp. Recorded just a month after Another Green World, Discreet Music is his first full foray into what has become known as ambient music. Using the same system of two reel-to-reel tape recorders as No Pussyfooting and Evening Star, Eno was able to layer simple parts atop one another, resulting in a beautiful piece of music that never really changes but constantly evolves with the addition and decay of different parts. And while there were elements of noise and dissonance on the albums with Fripp, all the sounds here are calming and serene. The second half of the album deals with the same ideas of recurring themes and evolution but uses a different approach. Here, members of the Cockpit Ensemble use pieces of the score of Pachelbel's Canon in D Major, but the relation of these elements changes over time by having the parts slow at differing intervals or using different lengths of the musical score. The same notions of theme and constant variation appear, but without the aid of the tape delay system. The tones of the strings are vastly different from the synth tones of the title track, but the effect on the listener is the same, with the pieces delicately unfolding over time. Discreet Music's reputation as a groundbreaking and influential work is surpassed only by its placid beauty. Highly recommended. ~ Sean Westergaard
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Rock - Released January 1, 1986 | EG Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 29, 2016 | Warp Records

Hi-Res
In the mid 70s, Brian Eno gradually abandoned the canons of pop and rock he mastered to perfection (his album Here Come The Warm Jets, released in 1973, is a marvel of hybrid glam rock reminiscent of Bowie himself) to embark on often instrumental 'avant-garde' music projects. Slow, weightlessness, languor, minimalism and purification became his new hobbies. Values ​​which he will make the best use of on records such as Ambient 1: Music For Airports and Music for Films released in 1978. These same values ​​are largely at the heart of The Ship. The British musician and producer, at the age of 67, claims to have drawn inspiration from the First World War and the sinking of the Titanic for the album. A first composition of 21 minutes opens the album in the most fascinating of ways. Baptised 'The Ship', there is a captivating sense of stagnation (sinking?) in slow motion, like being trapped in the nets of an new age electro that can not be inhabited. The second part of the disc is a triptych entitled Fickle Sun at the end of which Eno covers I'm Set Free by the Velvet Underground in the most ghostly way possible. We leave this trip, totally unique and singular, as if hypnotized. An ambassador of all things ambient, Brian Eno also shows that he knows how to orchestrate these small symphonies better than anyone, yielding an album that surrounds and overcomes the senses in the most wonderful way. © MZ / Qobuz
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Electro - Released September 1, 1991 | All Saints Records

My Squelchy Life is Brian Eno's Smile -- an album that was completed, sent out to reviewers (with some reviews hitting the stands), then withdrawn suddenly by Eno, regarded as a minor effort. A year later, Nerve Net was released. Undoubtedly, Nerve Net is a more polished, adventurous, and mature album, but My Squelchy Life, is a splendid pop album, and a fine follow-up to his collaboration with John Cale, Wrong Way Up. Bootlegs abound of this album, but most of the songs found their way onto the Eno Vocal Box Set, including the dreamy "Under" and "Over," and the upbeat "Stiff." "I Fall Up," one of Eno's darker songs, wound up on the B-side of "Ali Click" a year later. So what's left? Deserving of an official release is "The Harness," a slow, pulsing number similar to "The Roil, The Choke" from Nerve Net, all grandiose and golden. "Tutti Forgetti" is a rhythmic workout similar to his work with David Byrne; "Everybody's Mother" features a distorted vocal over an instrumental that would turn up on Shutov Assembly; "Little Apricot" is a solo piano composition, similar to "Web" on Nerve Net. If you can get hold of a copy, it's enjoyable. For "The Harness" it's indispensable. For everything else, it's replaceable. ~ Ted Mills
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Pop - Released January 1, 1974 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Electro - Released January 1, 2005 | EMI Catalogue

Brian Eno's Thursday Afternoon is included in his Original Masters "Soundtracks Works" edition as it is, after all, a soundtrack to a video that Eno himself made in 1984. It consists of seven practically immobile shots of a nude or semi-nude model filtered through a variety of video effects, shown "vertically" with the TV set turned on its right side. Thursday Afternoon debuted at a high profile art gallery in New York, and at that time Eno's cadre of boosters proclaimed that he was going to do for visual art what he'd already done for music. Unfortunately, the video was long, static, and to most viewers rather boring; several New York's film and art critics advised Eno to stick to music, and so far, he has largely done so, despite a handful of low-key gallery installations held in Europe since that time. Recent years have witnessed Eno redirecting his visual work away from video into the field of computer animation. Nonetheless, Thursday Afternoon has managed to carve out a unique niche of its own as a piece of music, as it is the longest of his ambient audio works, running 61 minutes on this new CD edition, as compared to the 59 minutes of the first CD version and the 82 minutes of the laserdisc and VHS versions. The music was recorded by the same three-way combination that produced Apollo, Eno, Roger Eno, and Daniel Lanois. As compared to the totally fluid stasis heard in Music for Airports segments such as 2/2, there is a lot more going on in Thursday Afternoon. However, it is applied to a much longer time frame; Thursday Afternoon is more than twice as long as Discreet Music. A fair amount of the additional detail is only audible barely above the threshold of human hearing, so the droning keyboard parts in the foreground mostly dominate the texture. Thursday Afternoon seems like one of the best stand-alone works among Eno's cycle of ambient music projects, and yet one can appreciate that this has an appeal a great deal more limited than that of Music for Airports. For those willing to take the plunge Thursday Afternoon has never appeared in better sound than here and with any luck the return of the long-unavailable video is impending. Such a re-release will find an openhearted welcome from Eno's fans, save those with flat-screen TVs.
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Electro - Released November 1, 2005 | EMI Catalogue

A listener familiar with the pedigree of the albums of Brian Eno might assume that the Virgin/Astralwerks release More Music for Films is merely a repackaging of Music for Films, Vol. 2, a bonus album included within the LP boxed set Working Backwards. Such an assumption would be incorrect, as More Music for Films represents a new spin on a variety of soundtrack material made by Eno in the years 1976-1983, including some tracks drawn from Music for Films, Vol. 2, others from Eno Box I: Instrumentals, and at least six selections never made public before. According to Virgin, these are taken from the limited-edition promo LP of Music for Films, a two-album set predating the familiar EG release by two years and only circulated to filmmakers and journalists. The last four tracks on More Music for Films relate to Apollo, a justly admired soundtrack jointly created by Eno, Roger Eno, and Daniel Lanois. Some of the previously unissued material is made up of alternate versions of pieces already familiar to listeners who know Eno's work well, but still others will appear to be wholly new even to his most seasoned fans. This is part of Virgin's Brian Eno - The Soundtrack Series and like the others has been remastered using the Direct Stream Digital method and comes encased in a thick, transparent plastic outer cover. The glue holding this cover together is starting to come apart, even though the review copy has only been in the office a couple of months, so don't expect this part of the package to hold up over time. Eno's music, though, has held up remarkably well in face of the enormous changes that have occurred in the realm of pop-oriented electronic music since the last of these tracks were laid down in 1983. Relatively few of these pieces jump out at the listener, and the overall mood fits comfortably within the realm of his ambient music, but taken as a whole the collection has a tad darker atmosphere than, say, Music for Airports. The running time of More Music for Films is certainly more generous than the average entries in Brian Eno - The Soundtrack Series, and even though it is not as essential as the original Music for Films collection, it nonetheless affords a fascinating glimpse into Eno's workshop during his early days -- a period some might say was Eno's best. ~ Uncle Dave Lewis