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Fripp & Eno - (No Pussyfooting) CD (album) cover


Fripp & Eno


Progressive Electronic

3.53 | 111 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Uhhhhh ... boy, Brian didn't really waste any time out of Roxy Music showing the world who was really responsible for all of those weird noises. Well, sort of; as you can see from above, this is a collaboration between Eno and Robert Fripp, and the other-worldly sounds and textures of this album belong just as much to Fripp as they do to Eno. Basically, this album is the two of them demonstrating the very limits of their soundmaking and production skills, completely removed from the context of anything resembling "songs" as the world knows it. It says something that each of these two tracks lasts exactly as long as it took to record it; these are improvisations, one solely involving Fripp's guitar, and one involving a combination of Fripp's guitar and a looped Eno synthesizer passage. However, both pieces are played through a tape-loop system devised by the duo, and the end result is a sound unlike anything that the world had previously heard.

Descriptions of the two tracks would almost have to be either incredibly short or incredibly long; it would be hard to find something in between. They could be short, on the one hand, because the overall picture of each of the tracks doesn't evolve much over time. "The Heavenly Music Corporation," in almost its entirety, consists of Fripp's atonal guitar warblings, cycling and fading in and out a most unsettling manner, while side two's "Swastika Girls" is more of the same except with some interaction with Eno's synth loops (as said before). On the other hand, there is actually low-key development of these tracks that becomes more obvious with each listen, and this is why descriptions of the tracks could be incredibly long; I could, if I wanted, spend a solid year digesting this album and come back with a review that pours into every nook and cranny and elaborates on why minute 16 of side one is a great counterpoint to minute 10 (or whatever) ... of course, this would be the most boring review ever written (for the average reader, anyway), so I'll stay away from that, thank you.

So what can be made of this in the interim? Well, for one thing, this isn't exactly ambient, at least not any more than, say, "Augmn" off of Can's Tago Mago is ambient. Ambient, among other things, is supposed to have a calming influence on the listener, and I would be hard-pressed to call large portions of this album calming. Heck, depending on the definition one uses for what is "music," this could easily fall into the category of albums that cross the line of what is and what isn't music; this is, after all, essentially just a sonic show- and-tell. On the other hand, though, it's an extremely interesting listen, and at least on some perverted level I've managed to enjoy it (though on most other levels I really didn't). I'll likely never listen to it again, but I'm glad I've listened to it as many times as I have; it's one of those albums that everybody should hear once in their lives. I give it ***, then, out of sheer respect for how ballsy it was to release an album like this, one more avantgarde than anything yet done by even remotely mainstream (and yes, back in 1973, these two were at least in the "underground mainstream") artists, and the fact that I kinda sorta liked listening to it. Or something along those lines.

tarkus1980 | 3/5 |


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