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Brian Eno - Brian Eno & J. Peter Schwalm: Drawn From Life CD (album) cover


Brian Eno


Progressive Electronic

3.57 | 31 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Brian Eno's semi-ambient collaboration with German DJ / sound mixer J. Peter Schwalm was released at the dawn of the 21st century, and not surprisingly shows a musical design in perfect sync with our shiny new millennium. The album may not have the pure organic minimalism of Eno's strictly solo installations ('Neroli', 'Thursday Afternoon'), but it compensates with a soothing mix of natural and synthetic sounds: mostly the latter, despite the album's title.

The presence on a few tracks of techno-chanteuse Laurie Anderson and Krautrock legend HOLGER CZUKAY (playing an IBM Dictaphone, his instrument of choice when he isn't bleating on a French Horn) should offer a clue to the music: gorgeous amniotic electronica set to an array of dreamy rhythmic pulses. The album is perhaps best represented in the twin track 'Bloom', with its heartbeat electronics, lush string arrangements (the real thing, not synthesized) and quietly babbling toddlers (Eno's daughters, Irial and Darla) setting a blissful mood of spiritual contentment.

So why the wasted two-and-one-half minutes of complete silence at the end of the track? And the nearly four minute vacuum after the song 'Two Voices'? On an album already lacking the sharper cutting edges of Eno's other non-rock collaborations (think of 'No Pussyfooting', alongside ROBERT FRIPP) it amounts to a literally empty aesthetic gesture, taking the idea of minimalism way too far.

Still, the album in total is a pleasant if not quite essential diversion from a master doodler: the perfect background accompaniment to a Lamaze breathing class or post-rave chill-out.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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