Legendary producer and influential electronic music pioneer Brian Eno has always kept us guessing. From his groundbreaking work with Roxy Music and David Byrne to his ambient solo albums and production work with the likes of U2, Eno has always been at the cusp of innovative modern music. Whether creating discordant experimental soundscapes, contributing a track to a Dido album or crafting the soundtrack to Peter Jackson's Lovely Bones film, Eno has blurred the distinction between pop and progressive, adventurous and commercial, understanding the appeal and art in both.
New album Small Craft On A Milk Sea (November 2) boldly mixes things up again with the assistance of fellow electronics "sculptor" Jon Hopkins and guitarist Leo Abrahams. Using some unused songs from The Lovely Bones project as starting points, the trio embark on a mostly improvisational journey, shaping what Eno says are more cinematic "landscapes" than "songs". The tracks are what he calls "a feeling of a place and perhaps the suggestion of an event...the mirror image of silent movies -- sound-only movies." The stormy, percussive "2 Forms of Anger", jittery, buzzing "Horse" and peaceful piano ambience of "Emerald and Stone" distinguish Eno's Sea, an album awash in sprawling, often jagged-edged compositions that randomly provoke and sooth...and by design. "In a sense they deliberately lack 'personality'', he observes, "there is no singer, no narrator, no guide as to what you ought to be feeling."
Brian Eno - "Emerald and Stone" (from Small Craft On A Milk Sea)
Brian Eno - "2 Forms of Anger" (from Small Craft On A Milk Sea)