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Various Artists (Label Samplers) - Angels in the Architecture CD (album) cover

ANGELS IN THE ARCHITECTURE

Various Artists (Label Samplers)

Various Genres


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Easy Livin
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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars "The sound of someone you love who's going away and it doesn't matter"

"Angels in the architecture" was an early example of a record label sampler released for CD. This collection gathers together 14 tracks recorded by artists with a connection to Brian Eno and EG Records. The music is almost exclusively ambient electronic recordings by artists ranging from the obscure (Harold Budd, Hans-Joachim Roedelius) to the famous (Patrick Moraz, Bill Bruford, Phil Manzanera). The tracks were recorded over a 10 year period from 1976 to 1986.

You could be forgiven for thinking after the first couple of tracks, which both feature the aforementioned Budd, that you had mistakenly picked up a cure for insomniacs, such is the dreamy, ponderous nature of the sounds. Roger Eno carries on the same considered but unquestionably dull ambience with both of his contributions.

Things finally get going with Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz duet "Split seconds" from their "Flags" album. This rather strange duet of drums and piano fails to work for me, due in no small part to the overly jazz nature of the music. Further tracks of an all too similar pattern follow, giving the impression that this is not in fact a compilation at all, but the work of a single artist.

The Penguin Café Orchestra offer some variation with delicate violin introducing another repetitive theme. The benefits of making this compilation available on CD instead of LP are exploited to the full on PCO's following track, the 12 minute "The sound of someone you love who's going away and it doesn't matter". This is a pleasant, lightly symphonic piece which, while far from riveting, is easy on the ear.

Things start to veer towards the unstructured ambience again with Manzanera's "Europe 80-1", while Fripp himself contributes two similar pieces.

The music contained on this sampler is undoubtedly designed for those with a specialist taste for it. There are no vocals and discernible melodies are few and far between. It is fair to say though that if you enjoy one track here, the chances are the entire album will appeal. For me, the music is just too lazy and laid back to offer anything other than background themes for other activities.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#113467)
Posted Sunday, February 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
2 stars This sampler album is fairly much a lot of background music ideal for nodding off to sleep to or studying to. It is dreamy music for the most part with a few shining moments worth making it an effort to get hold of, preferably borrowing from a library as I did as the majority is not really worthwhile returning to over and over.

The highlights are easy to find as they are the tracks featuring Fripp and Bruford and for that matter the strange but compelling music of Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Split Seconds by Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz is a delightful track with some ambience and shades of light and dark.

Prelude and Yodel by Penguin Cafe Orchestra is quirky and grows on you. As does the aptly named The Sound of Someone You Love Who's Going Away And It Doesn't Matter by Penguin Cafe Orchestra clocking in at 11:41 and the longest track. You do need some patience to take this track in but it tends to build and has moments of tension and release as all good melodies embody.

Europe 80-1 by Phil Manzanera is OK and a nice change in pace but my pick of the album is definitely 1988 by Robert Fripp. It is only 6:36 in length but it is worth returning to and features some of Fripp's most accomplished playing. He also appears on the short and sweet The Chords That Bind.

So there you have it. A very patchy album with some great tracks but I definitely would never purchase this as it is way too sleepy and dull apart from a few little nuggets to savour.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#277103)
Posted Friday, April 09, 2010 | Review Permalink

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