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Brian Eno - Spinner (with Jah Wobble) CD (album) cover

SPINNER (WITH JAH WOBBLE)

Brian Eno

 

Progressive Electronic

2.94 | 11 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
4 stars After producing so many albums it shouldn't be surprising to find one of Brian Eno's better efforts more or less falling through the cracks of our collective attention span. You can blame it in part on the music itself, which isn't exactly designed to call attention to itself. But on the other hand this 1995 experiment, recorded with Post Punk bass guitar legend Jah Wobble, isn't your typically minimal ambient Eno soundscape.

The project was unique in the way the two never actually shared any studio time together. The initial tracks were composed by Eno alone, as the soundtrack to an obscure avant-garde film ("Glitterbug", directed by his old pal Derek Jarman). Only afterward were the tapes offered to Wobble (a.k.a. John Wardle), with the invitation to make any additions and/or alterations he wanted, and no questions asked.

The result is a curious but effective hybrid surpassing even the expectations raised by two such distinctive musical artists. Imagine the quintessential sound of Eno's more intuitive inner-space musings, beefed up by the dub-heavy subterranean bass playing of Wobble, and edited after the fashion of a Holger Czukay collage into an almost seamless 60-minute piece of music.

Navel gazers will appreciate the near-subliminal ambient subtlety of it all (one selection, the 20+ minute "Left Where It Fell", even includes a five-minute stretch of complete silence, turning the long epilogue into more of a bonus track). And less passive listeners can climb right into the occasional cool rhythmic groove, all of which brings the music close to the underground spirit of classic Krautrock, thanks in large part to Wobble's recruitment of his old sparring partner, drummer Jaki Liebezeit (ex-CAN, of course).

Unlike some of Eno's other pioneering ambient albums ("Neroli", "The Shutov Assembly", take your pick), there's little here that anyone could call blissful or soothing. In its own quiet, undemonstrative way this is strong stuff: the perfect soundtrack for late-night electronic meditation on what was then the eve of a brave new Millennium.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |

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