Thursday, November 24, 2011

Brian Eno 19: Small Craft On A Milk Sea

If anyone understands the power of branding in packaging modern music, it’s Brian Eno. Case in point: Jon Hopkins and Leo Abrahams were already busy musicians in the electronic field before meeting Eno, and worked with him on various projects throughout the first decade of the century, for such artists as Paul Simon and Coldplay. Yet when their first full-length collaboration was released as Small Craft On A Milk Sea, Eno’s name came first. Meanwhile, the liner notes show the other two as contributing keyboards and guitars, while Eno is credited with “computers”. Granted, that’s not to suggest he didn’t do anything musical with said machines, but still.
This would be more of a big deal if the album was wholly somebody else’s work, or worse, not very good. But somehow these relatively short pieces, designed with the familiar idea of creating imaginary soundtracks, hang together very well. Some cuts, such as “Complex Heaven”, “Calcium Needles”, and the title track, recall the spacescapes of Apollo; others, like “Flint March”, “Bone Jump”, and “Dust Shuffle”, bring to mind the “juju space jazz” of The Drop, but with more purpose than noodling. A guitar finally shows up in “Horse”, which sounds like a remix of certain Music For Films and the Passengers project, while “2 Forms Of Anger” bashes out a single chord right out of Joy Division. Overall, there’s enough variety in between that makes it easy to sink into it as ambient music, or even put on shuffle and enjoy from a completely random standpoint. Again, the brevity and purpose of each of the tracks on Small Craft On A Milk Sea combine for success.

Brian Eno with Jon Hopkins & Leo Abrahams Small Craft On A Milk Sea (2010)—3

No comments:

Post a Comment