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Peter Hammill - Roger Eno & Peter Hammill: The Appointed Hour CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill

Eclectic Prog

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3 stars According to the ratings table (and admittingly some of the music contained) this is a 2-star album only but deserves at least one or even two more stars simply for the idea behind it. Hammill and Brian's brother Roger Eno apparently only met once on a tour bus years ago, kept in touch and decided quite some time later to embark on a collaboration. Their busy schedule did not allow the two to meet so Hammill came up with the following plan: both musicians would record a solo studio set on a certain day at an 'appointed hour' for that hour. They would then exchange the recordings hoping to find some moments, that would 'interact' or could be used after overdubbing. To their (and undoubtingly the listener's) surprise no dubbing was needed and the two tracks flowed into each other when played simutaniously, which is how this album was finally released: no overdubs, just two guys making music at the same time in two different places. Don't be fooled by the tracklisting - this is one continious track, and yes, suprisingly the experiment works, at least for most of the hour. There is little in terms of melody or song structures, and lots of keyboards, pianos and some of Hammill's unmistakable guitar playing. No, it is not prog music in the traditional sense, the closest categorization would probably be to call it an 'ambient jam session'. And no, this is no place to start if you don't know any of Hammill's work. Nevertheless, it is an intriguing piece, well worth a listen or two.
Report this review (#18775)
Posted Thursday, September 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars As the booklet indicates, this album is really an improvisation of the two participants that had been speaking for years to collaborate. So they did their things apart and super- imposed them. And as strange as it might appear, it actually sounds fairly good, but in all likelihood, there must've been a fair share of editing too.

While I confused Roger with his brother Brain at first, the resulting album is much the same as if it was Brian playing on it. While Hammill's participation is rather important, it is rather out of character of what you could be expecting from him. Peter does not sing or throw heavy guitar chords and he is in a rather quiet (even subdued) mood and this of course leaves Eno lots of room for him to glide his ambiances and dive them through Hammill keys and strings arpeggios. The resulting album is more an ambient record than a new age record (there is a subtle difference) and it is in general correct listening, but really nothing essential; let's face it, the average proghead will probably not be spinning this slice more than once in a couple of year after the initial discovery, so it is not really worth the investment.

Beit from Brian or Roger, an album signed by Eno is never really my cup of tea and adding a cloud of Hammillk will not change anything for me. ;-)

Report this review (#102568)
Posted Monday, December 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars The audiophiles who knew too much!

I am going to bore you a bit, about how this "The Appointed Hour", 1999, music experiment came upon. On a specific hour and date, Roger Eno in his "studio", miles away of Peter Hammill´s one, recorded unconnected from each other for an hour exactly and then stopped at the same "appointed hour". Then met afterwards to mix both impro/compositions... Mmh! All of this, promptly explained in its packaging. Also an emphasis that - no overdubs or time/syncs were used. That shows how happy they were with the actual results!

The progger's ratings are quiet average. And then again, the average young progger does not even consider this kind of music to be prog for starters!..., I mean, "modern classical piano music" with "impressionistic influences" + "ambient" and no "happy" moments, all hell broke loose!

Anyway! 20 unaltered songs came out of this "dadaistic" way of composing. Completely "instrumental", impro like, but similar in its "classic music" oriented, "ambiental" tone.

All tracks do behold an above average quality, some are shinier, some others more "impressionistic" and some move towards the "obscure", but really all catch your attention, beyond a purist prejudice of this way of songwriting.

As I listen, Satie's and Debussy's piano pieces come to mind, as a reference not a comparison. "No masterpiece but neither trash!", ***3.5 PA stars.

Report this review (#1256344)
Posted Friday, August 22, 2014 | Review Permalink

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