72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
Another Mission Under A Strangely Coloured Sky!,
This review is from: Small Craft On A Milk Sea (Audio CD)During the first ten years of the new century, Brian Eno has released some albums that come close to his classics of the seventies and eighties, for example DRAWN FROM LIFE, with Peter Schwalm, or the brilliant song cycle ANOTHER DAY ON EARTH. Now, the creator of ambient music has released his first solo album on Warp Records, specialists for experimental, electronic pop. And he is working with some soulmates, Leo Abrahams (guitar, laptop, weird sounds) and Jon Hopkins (piano, electronics, strange sounds).
Good companionship for a purely instrumental record that reaches far out - and starts almost too beautiful, with the ambient sugar of EMERALD AND LIME. But even this soft starter has some grainy elements of total emptiness in it - the picture of a silent sea springs to mind (a picture Eno has often recurred to in his songs). The following three soundscapes belong to the 1000 places you will have to go to before you die. COMPLEX HEAVEN, SMALL CRAFT ON A MILK SEA and the driving, irresistible rhythms of FLINT MARCH contain everything you expect from great Eno pieces, a sense of wonder, and an ambivalent field of emotion. On FLINT MARCH, the elastic drums add to an exercise of nearly uninhibited joie de vivre (but even here, as repeated listening reveals, some dark forces are working in the background).
This 15-track journey then continues with some wild pieces, a quiet foreboding of danger, and rough passages with frenetic guitar playing: sometimes Eno loves to push sounds to the verge of falling apart. The listener is getting lost in a very interesting way - between child-like moods, disturbing fields of sound, apparitions of naked beauty. And, finally, after some upheaval and dancing on a razorblade, the quiet atmospheres of the beginning re-enter the scenery: WRITTEN, FORGOTTEN & LATE ANTHROPACENE explore a quality of peacefulness and yearning beyond kitsch and wrong happy endings by just touching a deep zone of human experience.
This is definitely a record Eno-friendly minds and a lot of newcomers will return to again and again. SMALL CRAFT ON A MILK SEA is so fresh, so full of wonder, so far away from being a repetition of any other Eno album. Of course, there are some spirits drifting: on COMPLEX HEAVEN Eno sounds like channeling his early piano treatments for Harold Budd. The first track, EMERALD AND LIME, has a kind of Roedelius flair. But, well, on this great work even the memories are inventive - playing tricks under a strangely coloured sky!
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Initial post: 4 Oct 2010 08:55:03 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Oct 2010 08:56:17 BDT
And Mr. Eno himself says: "In the early 70s I found myself preferring film soundtracks to most other types of records. What drew me to them was their sensuality and unfinished-ness - in the absence of the film they invited you, the listener, to complete them in your mind. If you hadn't even seen the film, the music remained evocative - like the lingering perfume of somebody who's just left a room you've entered. I heard Nino Rota's Fellini soundtracks often before I saw the films and in listening to them I found I could imagine a whole movie in advance: and though it usually turned out to be nothing much like Fellini's version, it left me with the idea that a music which left itself in some way unresolved engaged the listener in a particularly creative way.
"The work in this collection is a result of an occasional collaboration between myself, Leo Abrahams and Jon Hopkins. The two of them are gifted young player/composers whose work, like mine, is intimately connected to the possibilities and freedoms of electronic music. Over the last few years we've worked together several times, enjoying exploring the huge new sonic territories now available to musicians. Mostly the pieces on this album resulted not from 'composition' in the classical sense, but from improvisation. The improvisations are not attempts to end up with a song, but rather with a landscape, a feeling of a place and perhaps the suggestion of an event. In a sense they deliberately lack 'personality': there is no singer, no narrator, no guide as to what you ought to be feeling. If these pieces had been used in films, the film would complete the picture. As they stand, they are the mirror-image of silent movies - sound-only movies.
In reply to an earlier post on 17 Oct 2010 09:44:35 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 29 Oct 2010 21:07:03 BDT]
Posted on 7 May 2011 15:48:52 BDT
G. Young says:
First class review and I love the line; "As they stand, they are the mirror-image of silent movies - sound-only movies."
In reply to an earlier post on 18 May 2011 15:25:50 BDT
if you go to "manafonistas.de", youŽll find my new review of the next Eno album w/ Rick Holland, "Drums Between The Bells".
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