Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Brian Eno 21: Lux

Brian Eno’s musical adventures in the new century have predominantly been ambient collaborations, or background music designed to accompany various art installations. That’s nothing new for the guy, except to lower the level of excitement whenever there’s news of a new album from such a project. While ambient music by definition is designed to be ignored, if we’re going to spend upwards of fifteen bucks on a CD of the stuff, we’d like it to capture our attention more than not.
And he is capable of that. For example, Music For Airports, Apollo and The Plateaux Of Mirror are very listenable when your immediate plan is to stay awake; the same can’t always be said for the likes of Neroli, The Drop and even Thursday Afternoon. With Lux, however, he’s managed to illustrate “the light of day” with a full CD’s worth of content that echo the better examples above. The instrumentation is mostly keyboards, a softly pinging piano, and strings that sound both real and computerized. Split into four 19-minute sections—the equivalent of a two-record set—it’s a soft and soothing program, though there is a shift to a minor key about halfway through, and a more melancholy mood by the fourth part. If you’re going to pick and choose from the man’s catalog, this is definitely one to grab.

Brian Eno Lux (2012)—3

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