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


Fripp & Eno


Progressive Electronic

3.53 | 111 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It was inevitable that Brian Eno and Robert Fripp, the most cerebral English rockers of the 1970s, would collaborate sooner or later. Their paths crossed for the first time at the recording of Matching Mole's Little Red Record, which Fripp produced and Eno appeared on as a guest musician. They discovered they had similar ideas, although in some ways they were polar opposites; Fripp the master guitarist had developed a formidable technique over years of dedicated practice, while Eno was a self confessed non musician. Both were interested in the possibilities of using tape recorders and delay systems, and it was this shared interest which led to the recording of this album.

Side 1 was reputedly recorded at Eno's flat one night after they had shared a bottle of wine. Fripp produced long, droning notes from his guitar which were looped and manipulated by Eno. Layers of sound shift and move almost imperceptibly into new forms, with everything taking place slowly and gracefully - the impression is not of a composition with a defined beginning and end, but rather of an excerpt from a much longer piece which could still be slowly evolving years later. As with much of the best minimal music, very little appears to happen but at the end of side 1 you find yourself wondering just how the piece got to 'there' from 'here'.

Side 2 follows a similar pattern, although on this piece Eno also uses his VCS3 to add to the texture. Even more than side 1, this sounds like the product of cold, detached intellects, the very antithesis of the sweaty physicality of rock. At the same time it's bold and radical in the way that the best rock music should be - although minimalism had been around for some time, and plenty of German innovators were exploring the possibilities of electronics and synthesisers, this was highly unexpected coming from members of comparatively mainstream acts like Roxy Music and King Crimson.

Aside from the music itself, this is also a significant album in that it can be seen as the first step towards Frippertronics and towards Eno's ambient experiments of the late 70s/early 80s. Fripp and Eno would work together again, occasionally in their own right or on other people's projects, and their paths continue to cross even now. This is a landmark album, and is highly recommended to anyone with an interest in minimalism and electronica.

Syzygy | 4/5 |


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