on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2012 10 Sep

The ten most „eno-esque“ albums of ECM records, with a short introduction

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog,Musik vor 2011 | TB | Tags: , Comments off

„Enoesque“ doesn’t necessarily mean, that the artists do know Eno’s music very well, some do, some don’t. The word means that a certain record contains, consciously, unconsciously, or even by pure chance, elements that can be perceived as, well, Eno-related, in an obvious or hidden way. Strangeness is a rare thing. And, for sure, sometimes critics use the term for music they don’t understand at all :)

The word has become another word for „weird“, „exotic“, „melodic with a strange twist“, „minimal, but with emotional impact“, „uncommon“. And, yes, quite often, the word is linked to compositions of artists who may even have no idea who Eno really is, maybe, because they are too young, or too old, or simply not interested. So, read this with a smile, but be sure, some of these artists know his Ambient Music rather well, believe me! And that leaves traces. Moments. Ideas. Sounds. Sometimes sounds on the verge of falling apart. And sometimes, yeah, sometimes, nothing at all.


1) Eivind Aarset w/ Jan Bang: Dream Logic

Eclecticism can be so inventive. Music to get lost in. Brian’s defintion of „Where am I-music“ fully realized. And a brilliant extension of a lost classic of Ambient Music, Michael Brook’s „Infinite guitar“-playing on „Hybrid“. That milestone once was created in the famous Grant Avenue Studios in Hamilton, Ontario. The producers: Brian and Daniel. The golden years. And now this: „Dream Logic“ is the kind of album critics will attest an „almost hallucinatoric“ quality – and they are right! One of the best albums of 2012 recurring on traditions where many others only offer cheap pastiche!


2) Jon Hassell: Power Spot

The only ECM opus with the direct involvement of Brian Eno, Eno/Lanois create another masterpiece! Dreamscapes made of electronica, minimalism, Asian and African influences.


3) David Darling: Cello

I knew Brian would love this solo-cello work, when I send it to him in the  early Nineties. Slow Music with cellos overlapping and delayed sounds. Drifting  in circles – and moving skywards!


4) Steve Tibbetts – Marc Anderson: Northern Song

Produced by ECM – mastermind Manfred Eicher within two days in Oslo. Guitar and percussion and a lot of silences that never sound sacred  – but always arresting! Tibbetts‘ fear: not enough notes. But then he remembered the  passion with which he has listened to Eno’s „Music for  Airports“ – and knew everything was okay!


5) Eleni Karainrou: Music for Films

Manfred Eicher chose the title as hommage to Eno’s „Music For Films“. When hearing the record, Eno fell in love with the textures, the melodies, the recurrimg themes.


6) Jon Hassell: Last Night The Moon Came …

Okay, Eno’s old friend again, this  time without Brian. But with Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang among others. See: number one! Amazing and endlessly subtle. Will not be continued, the Norwegian connection. Sad ending. Pasttime paradise. 


7) Arvo Pärt: Alina

Pärt at his most minimal, and that is to say something. Compare the spacious piano notes of these pieces that can easily be linked to his „tintinnabuli“ style, with those piano and keyboard figures Robert Wyatt plays on „Music for Airports“, or Roger Eno plays on „Thursday Afternoon“. „Alina“ is sparse, and some would even say simple, but it’s personal and human and at times nearly devastating.


8) Hans Otte: Buch der Klänge

The German composer of new classical piano music was tired of the loss of deep feeling in his scene. He changed that by creating this simple and profound music. Beautiful in a never-ending way!


9) Bill Connors: Swimming With A Hole In My Body

Lost gem of the late Seventies, solo guitar album with lots of space, and sounds floating; even the title and the cover are enoesque; Bill Connors was obviously tired of further following scientologist Chick Corea to the Seventh Galaxy!


10) Terje Rypdal: After The Rain

Very quiet solo work by Terje Rypdal. The guitarist even plays instruments he can not play very well – sounds like he used some „oblique strategies“ from  Brian’s game: „Honour thy errors as hidden intentions“.


P.S.: It may not be fair to call Heiner Goebbels‘ album „SHADOW / Landscape With Argonauts“ enoesque in the first place (for that you should listen to „Stifter’s Dinge“), but it was probably the ECM album that had the biggest influence on Brian Eno himself, concerning the way Goebbels uses 100 voices from the streets of Boston to make the reading of the dark prose of E. A. Poe a new and thrilling experience. So there are, without doubt, connections between „SHADOW“ and Eno’s exquisite work „Drums Between The Bells“ (2011)

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