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


Fripp & Eno

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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.

Report this review (#35059)
Posted Sunday, May 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars On No pussyfooting, Brian Eno and Robert Fripp created something magic. The two pieces are very good. The Heavenly Music Corp. is a classic: the keyboards are simple and soft, but the guitar solos are crazy and powerful. Back in 1973, Fripp said in an interview that this song was the best thing he had done since In The Court Of The Crimson King (King Crimson). The second piece, Swastika Girls has a great keyboard melody, but the guitar solos are less intense. Very good anyway.

No Pussyfooting is a classic album and it deserves a place in the history of rock music. Every fan of Fripp or Eno should have it.

Report this review (#37356)
Posted Thursday, June 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album presents the first frippertonic experiments that Robert Fripp did with Brian Eno. Brian had created an analog tape loop device which he used on his "Discreet Music" album (a very recommendable record), and Robert started using it with his Gibson Les Paul, realizing the potential for more complex solo performances. It is truly an amazing wall of sound which he is capable to conjure with this system. This ambient music is beautiful, but not very new age stylish, focusing more on concentrated tectonics of organic sound plates. These tapes were used on King Crimson concert openers during the years 1973 and 1974, thus the beginning of this album can be heard on their live recordings from that period. If you are interested of that band's history or like minimal but powerful meditative musical ambiences, this is a good bargain for those preferences. The following "Evening Star" developed this process further in 1975 after the disbanding of King Crimson.
Report this review (#40033)
Posted Saturday, July 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Everytime I hear someone speak of this album , I cannot help to think of a mid-80's hamburger fast food chain commercial campaign with little old ladies yelling : "where's the beef?". That funny commercial as well as the fact that I heard this album around that time for the first time , make them in my mind bound forever .

This album is maybe historically important and was maybe groundbreaking at the time , but there is not much meat in it. Groundbreaking to a certain point too as in Germany there were tons of groupds didling with electronic music , were more ahead and more sophisticated: Tangerine Dream , Kluster, Ash Ra Tempel etc... The fact that this album became so important to the public eye, I think, is due to the SMBWMP (Stupid Mindless British Weekly Music Press - NME & MM) that held Eno much in admiration and its collaboration with the master of depth and soberness,Mr. Fripp! As for the music , it clearly predates most of Eno's Ambient music album series.

Rarely do I give an historically important album such a low rating , but really, in regards with today's standards, this one is really non-essential! Actually, I rounded it up to the third star!!!

Report this review (#45725)
Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Two Stars only!! Yes, this album is historical, inventive, progressive, but not very good. It comprises of two long pieces, each consisting of very little material stretched out through tape playbacks and rather weak soloing. Utilizing Fripp's trademark Frippertronics, (the repitition of sounds through tapes manipulations and delay), this piece goes on and on, and nothing happens. Occasionally, Eno will add his VCS 3 synths to bulk up the music, but this is also lacking. This music is the definition of sparse. You will listen to this album, and forty minutes later, wonder "what the hell? Wheres the music!". Despite its historical significance, I can't give this album anything higher than 2 stars. Both Eno and Fripp have produced bigger and better things than this. If you want spacy repeptive music, listen to Tangerine Dream. Though also dull, compared to this its rocking. I can't help but thinking the highly intelligent Fripp & Eno perpetrated this on this public as an inside joke.
Report this review (#62346)
Posted Friday, December 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Amazing ambient work, one of the first ever released of this music.Eno shows his devices to Fripp in this period and years later frippertronics come to of the best records of this genre!a true masterpiece
Report this review (#65667)
Posted Friday, January 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of the most important and first recordings in the history of ambient music !

Two of the most innovative english musicians offers new, floating and truely ethereal music. No Pussyffoting is a wedding of electronic instruments and electric guitars. A real success ! Waves of synthetizers from Eno creates a mystical ambiance, while Fripp's guitar playing, calmer than in King Crimson's records, is spacey and trippy, nonetheless always haunting and personal. The album consists in two long pieces of nearly 20 minutes where time and space do not exist anymore.

The Heavenly Music Corporation is the most beautiful piece of music here, purely contemplative, growing and deep. The music evolves slowly with mysterious ambiances created by Eno superposed with Fripp's improvisations, alternating delicate and fast moments. The french electronic band Heldon has undoubtly been inspired from this tune. It gets angrier at the middle of the song but then calms downs and sounds die softly until the end. Magic ! The second side of the disc, Swastika Girls, is more electronic driven and minimalist. Rather odd sounds and pieces of small melodies grow up together to create a meditative atmosphere. Guitars appear in the second part of the song, both relaxing and terrifying by moments. As the melody softens, the sounds emerging from the synthetizers become stranger and stranger.

Despite its long passages, No Pussyfooting is a brilliant tour de force by Fripp and Eno. Apart from other experimental acts from this period, the artists created something unique and timeless which serves as a milestones for ambient and electronic musicians. A must !

Report this review (#117637)
Posted Sunday, April 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
1 stars No music either

"No pussyfooting" contains of just two tracks, one on each side of an LP. The music consists of just guitar and keyboards, with no other musicians being involved in the performances. The music is however manipulated through post recording techniques such as the use of tape loops. It should of course be borne in mind that as these recordings date from the early 1970's, they pre-date sampling, midis, processors etc.; tape loops in this case really does mean recording tapes jointed together to form loops!

There's very little music here as such, this is an avant-garde piece of self indulgence which is totally improvised. Anyone hearing this without knowing hwo it is by could be forgiven for thinking it was recordedby a group of spotty teenagers armed with a guitar and a keyboard who spent a bit time on a tape deck after recording their efforts. The problem is though, that pretty much sums up what this is. Robert Fripp is undoubtedly a competent guitarist, but his efforts are lost in sea of repetitious mumbo jumbo which goes absolutely nowhere.

The two pieces which make up the album were recorded almost a year apart in 1972 and 1973. It would be difficult however to justify the delay in terms of writers block since, on the face of it, little if any premeditation went into either track.

While I would not list ambient electronic music as my chosen genre, there is much of it which I enjoy. The sounds, which are often more important than the music when it comes to this unique genre, can often be pleasant and relaxing. I cannot though find anything here other than noise of the sake of noise.

Both Robert and Brian have shown themselves to be accomplished in their chosen fields. It seems to me though that any success and recognition enjoyed by this release is purely on the strength of their reputations, not on the contents herein.

Report this review (#123136)
Posted Wednesday, May 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars I admit to being floored that this was recorded in 1973. These two amazing musicians used 2 tape recorders connected together in such a way that a single note would play back over and over until it disappeared.This was already being done by many German bands, but this was the first time a whole album featured this process. This would later be called "Frippertronics" when Mr.Fripp used this soundscape. The album cover is meaningful of Fripp and Eno sitting in a mirrored room.Their images like the sounds go on and on.

"The Heavenly Music Corporation" is my favourite of the two compositions. The sounds drift along quietly until after 3 minutes when we start to hear Fripp's guitar coming to life. The guitar is more prominant after 7 minutes.There is a section after 10 minutes where it sounds like the guitar is crying out. Some fantastic guitar melodies 16 minutes in as waves of synths pulsate. Nice. 20 minutes in the drones slowly pulse to end the song.

"Swastika Girls" is a difficult listen for me as Eno is more prominant,especially with the use of his VCS3. The noises are strange and they play over and over, it's actually quite annoyoying. Fripp comes in before 8 minutes with some tasty guitar sounds that come and go.

Well as much as I can appreciate this ambient recording I can't rate this more than 3 stars.

Report this review (#131234)
Posted Wednesday, August 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars this masterpiece is one of the first albums of ambient music. If someone finds this album boring, then he must be either a prog-technique freak, a true metal-head or a pop culture hearer (not listener) of music. No Pussyfooting music does not project itself onto you, but it gives you space to project your own self on the music. This music requires a L I S T E N E R and not a hearer! This music needs commitment from the is a teacher that speaks only to students that want to listen! absolutely life changing material!
Report this review (#161815)
Posted Friday, February 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Listening to this album was quite and interesting experience for me. I have just gotten into Brian Eno and other electronic and ambient music. I will have to say that this album floored me from the very beginning. It is quite varied with the solos that Fripp constructs and the highly textured soundscapes that surround them. I got the bonus disc edition, which contains the tracks played in reversed or at half-speed and such, and it's actually not gimmicky at all. The pieces change just enough to offer a new insight on the originals and stand alone as their own entities. Swastika Girls is absolutely hypnotizing. I get lost trying to pick out every sound that's playing; it's so layered it's ridiculous. This is one of the most different and interesting albums I've ever listened to. The only reason I am giving this a four instead of a five is only because I can see the influence this has had on music and what other people did after listening to this album. Having listened to the music that followed this stuff, it makes it sound a little bare, like you know there are only two guys working on this stuff. Still, I highly recommend this album to anyone; I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it.
Report this review (#195038)
Posted Friday, December 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Pussyfoot: An unusual sexual practice? No. Actually means to move stealthily or cautiously. Informal to act or proceed cautiously or timidly to avoid committing oneself.

As a long time fan of Fripp and Eno as individual artists and of their second duo album, Evening Star, I avoided adding this one to my collection because the album and track titles weren't as compelling as those on Evening Star. No Pussyfooting? The Heavenly Music Corporation? Swastika Girls? What the hell? Well so happens I was browsing at my local independent records store recently, wasn't finding much of interest, came across the 2 CD limited edition version, and decided to give it a try.

If I were to play this to the unacquainted and do the "guess the year" game, I bet few music fans would be able to place the year of this album's creation at or around 1973. There is a certain timeless quality to it. When you consider that this did actually come out in 1973, the No Pussyfooting album title actually does fit. No one had ever done any music like this before then that I know of. It was originally released as two long tracks consisting of Eno tape loops and Fripp on solo guitar. It's the beginning of Frippertronics and what Eno would later term ambient music, which now encompasses some music by some artists that came before.

Eno defined ambient music as music which could be "actively listened to with attention or as easily ignored, depending on the choice of the listener". So indeed, many a progressive music fan might find this stuff boring. Being a long time fan of ambient, I find this to be an essential part of my collection now. And if you are a fan of Fripp or Eno's non-ambient works, you might want to try this one out anyway.

The special edition has extra versions of the two pieces. The two tracks are run backwards and the first one is run at half speed. And would you believe those versions work as well as the originals? I don't think there's much out there in music you could do that with.

Fripp and Eno boldly not pussyfooting.

Report this review (#201191)
Posted Saturday, January 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I wouldn't rate this if I weren't forced to... Yet, I still do need a tagline... Music-by-numbers-music-by-numbers-music-by-numbers...

There's not much to write about the album, If I'm to omit the standard introduction in the likes of: "Eno and Fripp boldly un-pussyfooting" (what's the opposite of pussyfooting anyway?) or "Let me, breathtakingly, explain how Frippertronics work". By Jingo, you can make these facts out simply by reading a Wikipedia article! As for the Frippertronics system, I'm not willing to make a fool of myself by elucidating a concept I barely grasp myself. To a child of the modern age, tape delay sounds like using tinder and flint to make fire. Secondly, for more proof on not-pussyfooting look at the running time of the "songs". Honestly though, I shouldn't be using quotation marks, because my personal quota allows me to call everything with at least 30% music a song, whilst the two sides of (No pussyfooting), contain mostly music, layers upon layers of Fripp's sustained guitar noodling.

This brings us to the most important elements of Fripp's trademark guitar sound featured here: the aforementioned sustain and moreover the kind of inanimate, digitalized notes the instrument produces. The guitar sounds as if constantly picked by a machine, making me wholeheartedly believe Robert Fripp is the complete opposite of Mark Knopfler (not in terms of skill, but rather in terms of guitar style). Even the overdrive seems set to a level mathematically balanced by the combined powers of Einstein, Fermi and HAL 9000. Brian Eno on the other hand is inaudible, occupied more overtly with tape loops than with providing a synthesized background to Fripp's clearly self-indulgent jamming.

The Heavenly Music Corporation, a title which is by all standards Fripp-esque (just check out a few of the later King Crimson improv titles: some of them are built out of full blown sentences - nonsensical, but still sentences), introduces the listener to Brian and Roberts tape delay warm-up round. They are still pussyfooting now and then (curses, I couldn't deny myself the pleasure of throwing in a reference to the album's title), but the immense grandeur compensates for the overall repetitiveness of the sounds. The ambient soundscapes created on both tracks are bearable up to the level of being occasionally enjoyable. The music can be aptly compared to sounds of shadows crawling, cars passing in slow-motion and playing in reverse. The latter of the two tracks starts with something comparable only to the resonance of digital whirlpools backed with a buzzing and twanging guitar (mainly sans distortion), plus improv noodling entering in the middle of Swastika Girls. Don't get fooled by the title, though. The second song sounds more carefree and however droning it may be, it doesn't make me nauseous. And this is a very good thing, considering their second collaboration spawned the unlistenable Index of Metals.

If you're lookinng for groundbreaking experiments and especially fond of Fripp's guitar style - buy (No Pussyfooting), undoubtedly. Note that there is a remastered edition now for sale with the tracks reversed and half-speed. Wonder how that sounds?

Best song: (You're funny. It's more of a "take it or leave it" choice)

Worst song: (It will surely kill you to death at some point if you aren't a fan of droning guitar noises)

PS: Oh, and I want a studio that looks like the room on the album cover (complete with mirror covered musical instruments), which, by the way, perfectly represents the album's contents.

Report this review (#267190)
Posted Saturday, February 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The birth of Ambient music (at least in the established rock environment), as such "No Pussyfooting" will be an interesting album, no matter how much you like it, compared to later ambient albums, by Eno, Fripp or others, due to its inovative place in music history. The album is recorded with a 2xtape recorder loop system developed by Eno, later given the name Frippotronics when used for guitar. Is contains 2 tracks, reflecting the vinyl side A and B, the A side "The Heavenly Music Corporation" recorded in September 1972, the B side "Swastika Girls" about a year later.On both tracks the "base" is a loob system layer upon layer, texture. And on top a solo guitar. Notably the first track seems less filled than the 2nd. making it the better of the two. Less is more ! So how does it sound ?, the textures slowly developing bring a meditative mood to the tracks, relaxing, soft, and minimalistic. Fripp's guitar soloing, mostly smooth, soft and light, but at times a bit more complex and faster. Especialy at the last half of "Heavenly Music".

If you are into experimental music, with interesting tone color. But without any clear sence of rythm. This is certanly what you should go out and get right away, in that cases "No Pussyfooting" is essential, and the album, to set a standart. If you are starting Your Fripp and/or Eno collection. This early work, shows protential of what to come, and how they both would develop their music later, this album is a must have, and will repeatedly be revisited, essential especialy to the "Fripp Freaks". But if Your interest in Prog. Rock, comes from Heavy Prog. and/or Symphonic Prog, with the focus on band effort, with odd tempo changes and brilliant drums/percussions, You better stay away.

"No Pussyfooting" is not flawless, its a first attempt, and as such very sucessfull, but it could be better, sometimes i get too much sound at once, decreasing the warmth I otherwise get from listning to the album. Too much stereo effects here and there do stress me a bit too.

Its essential in this sub-genre, but no masterpiece: 4-stars.

Report this review (#279188)
Posted Saturday, April 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#280573)
Posted Wednesday, May 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
Retired Admin
3 stars Atmospheric Dungeons

Robert Fripp and Brian Eno are both prolific electronic artists, masters of the soundscape and atmospheric layers of sound. Here, on '(No Pussyfooting),' we find their starting point. The two men collaborated in 1973 to create this classic, but overrated, electronic album. Here Fripp was able to find his voice in the electronic world, experimenting with an innovative tape delay technique later dubbed 'Fripptronics,' which is what most of the album is composed of. Brian Eno contributes the backing ambient soundscapes that give the album that atmosphere of exploration and wonder. However, through all the great soundscapes and ambient filling, there isn't much else. The album is composed of two lengthy tracks filled to the brim with ambient noise, little music, and just an interesting use of 40 minutes to remember.

The album' 'opens' with The Heavenly Music Corporation. Massive in length, yet rather shallow in depth, the track has little to its name but some heavenly sounding music. And I'm not saying the music is heavenly, I'm saying it is atmospheric and spacey, and not much else. The interesting use of Fripptronics is a nice introduction to Fripp's later work, but it really is nothing more than a creative jam session by himself. Overall, the song is nothing special, maybe some nice ambient work, but contributes little musically to anything.

Swastika Girls is the second and last track of the album, and present much of the same as the previous track in much the same fashion. Starting with an electronic synth-y section, the 18 minute long track takes even longer to start up than THMC did. This song is more heavily dependent on Eno's keyboard contribution with much less of Fripp's playing present throughout the track. Nearly the entire track is just some peculiar synth noises and bleeps and bloops making for an odd and non-invigorating experience for the listener. Overall, this track really has nothing that special within in except for some interesting soundscapes and synth noises.

ALBUM OVERALL: I'm a fix of whether this album is too complex for comprehension or it legitimately really has nothing special going for it. Ambient-wise, the album could be considered genius, a progenitor in the genre, a masterpiece, and a million other things, but in an actual musical analysis, the album really doesn't hold for anything. The majority of the album is Fripp and Eno jamming with their technologically interesting instruments and making interesting music for druggies who are amazed by little things like a bleep or a weeping guitar. Sadly, not being a stoner myself, I fail to see the genius of this album. It has some really nice soundscapes, but overall seems pretty pointless in the scheme of things. It's an alright album, and I would recommend it only to those dying for classic ambient music. 3- stars.

Report this review (#429509)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars The debut effort of this wonderful collaboration of Robert Fripp and Brian Eno takes strong cues from Eno's ambient works, but Fripp's involvement on this album takes that concept to an interesting level. "The Heavenly Music Corporation" is a long and droning composition. Eno creates an ocean of droning, buzzing electronic sound while Fripp's guitar drones and noodles over top. It sounds like an uneventful concept, but the variation in sound that Fripp's electronically manipulated guitar is able to pull off is remarkable and beautiful, and soars highly over the soundscape not unlike the way the mellotron is used on Tangerine Dream's early albums. "Swastika Girls" is the same idea as the last track, but is more optimistic and dreamy in tone. The "Frippertronics" here are used to great effect and remind me of "Neurotica" from the King Crimson album Beat.

This collaboration album, though largely ambient, has a much greater experimental appeal than Eno's solo ambient works, and just enough is happening in the tracks to keep the listener interested while also maintaining an uncluttered, dreamy scape of wonderful electronic drones.

Report this review (#438621)
Posted Sunday, April 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This album proved to be the more interesting of the two Fripp and Eno 1970s releases. While this one shows some of the ambient music tendencies both musicians were heading toward, Fripp saves the recording with some nice, but not spectacular guitar playing on both of the pieces.

The two tracks both have Eno playing sounds through the dual tape recorder delay process that Fripp later appropriated and dubbed "Frippertronics". Frips adds guitar solos, with lots of long sustained notes, keeping the whole affair from becoming a dreadful bore. This album is only essential if you are a collector of Fripp's guitar solos.

The cover is almost the best part of the album, depicting Fripp & Eno lounging in a mirrored room. Eno is playing with a naughty deck of cards. And is that an illicit substance in powdered lines on that picture frame in front of Fripp? He always seemed like too much of a control freak for that kind of foolishness.

Low three stars.

Report this review (#442244)
Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars As innovative and important as it is to the development of the ambient genre, and even though it's a good album, at the end of the day No Pussyfooting doesn't quite manage to transcend its origins as two guys messing about with musical instruments and electronics at home and putting the results on vinyl. Eno's tape system and Robert Fripp's guitar playing combine to create a forerunner of Frippertronics, but there's no getting around the fact that this aimless noodling is, well, nothing more than aimless noodling. Superior drone-ambient outings had already emerged from the Krautrock scene in the form of Tangerine Dreams' Zeit and Klaus Schulze's Irrlicht and Cyborg, and whilst the album would prove to be an important turning point in the career of both participants, all that proves is that unexpected consequences can come out of the most humble places. Three stars.
Report this review (#509101)
Posted Thursday, August 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Robert Fripp and Brian Eno were two of the most interesting and innovative musical personalities of the 1970s, but it would also be hard to imagine two more divergent temperaments. Eno was a flashy, kinetic wild man who, during his tenure with Roxy Music managed to steal the show from one of the most dynamic frontmen ever, despite not really playing any instruments. Fripp was a cool intellectual who sat on stool on stage while playing his guitar and was notoriously standoffish to fans. The public may not have known what to expect when they decided to team up, but anyone could bet the result would be magical.

The driving force behind the album is a tape loop system developed by Eno which was capable of simultaneous playback and recording. This allowed a performer to hear a loop of his himself while continuing to play on top of it, adding new layers and rhythms in real time. This was not entirely a new idea-Terry Riley had been doing similar things for years-but Eno dubbed the process "Frippertronics" and the name stuck.

The record consists of two side-long tracks, each containing a subtly pulsing backdrop over which Fripp solos extensively. On "The Heavenly Music Corporation," the mood is serene and Fripp's guitar sweeps slowly around with his characteristic warm tones climbing and plunging like dive bombers in slow motion. The effect is lovely and captivating.

Side two, entitled "Swastika Girls," is more active, with heavier focus on Eno's electronics making up the rapidly swirling backdrop. There is a lot more going on here than o the first side, and it takes several listens to take it all in. One of the dangers of this type of recording technique is the tendency for things to become overly cluttered and aurally confusing. I'm not sure whether that quite happens here, but it certainly walks a fine line.

Fans of either Eno's solo work or Fripp's guitar playing (mainly in his capacity as a guest soloist for the likes of David Bowie; there's little resemblance to King Crimson) will find much to love here. The latest reissue is a 2-CD set of good quality and a couple of puzzling choices. First, they broke the side long tracks up into separate parts for the CD indexing, which is totally unnecessary and arbitrary to my way of thinking. Second, the bonus tracks consist of the entire record played backwards and a half speed version of "The Heavenly Music Corporation." The reasons for this remain obscure, but I am forced to admit that the different versions are interesting and enjoyable, if not essential.

Report this review (#834448)
Posted Sunday, October 7, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Drone music is a minimalist musical style that emphasizes the use of sustained or repeated sounds, notes, or tone-clusters called drones. It is typically characterized by lengthy audio programs with relatively slight harmonic variations throughout each piece compared to other musics - Wikipedia about Drone Music. Well, I think No Pussyfooting is the definitive drone.

Robert Fripp and Brian Eno working together at the weirdo ambiental "(No Pussyfooting)". Good. This is something totally experimental, with some creative passages. Two tracks. Sorry, but it would be better. While I really love Swatiska Girls, The Heavenly Music Corporation annoys me sometimes. The whole album is a brainwashing mantra, repetitive. It's good to listen to while you're reading.

Report this review (#958757)
Posted Monday, May 13, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars For starters, it will be quiet hard to fit this work as such, even with the early 60's late 70's electronic music..... Prog and not. It stands closer to the "un-musical" aesthetics, of early electronic music, which dates back to 1925, with Luigi Russolo's "ALL" electronic compositions, which were never intended or needed, to be "tagged" as such. The obviuos "comparisson" between this kind of FRIPP & ENO "language", and the traditional "Prog" one, is undeserving, due to its inherent "non-musical" approach to these avant/garde structures, there are 2,.... or "noise-like", if it helps.

So, to even things out, this is as close as the late, purely electronic music of musicians, like Xenakis or Stockhausen, comes to Prog. Obviously this kind of work fits perfectly under the Progressive/Electronic sub-genre, more than anything else, considering its participants.

Brian Eno has a field day in this kind of non-musical experiments, he was already trying to break out, of all common places in the construction of his music, his "tools" (tapes, synths, recorders, tapes, studio facilities, gadgets, etc, etc...), were in fact already more than tried and tested (remember since 1925). He had at the time (1973) left, to call it somehow, Roxy Music's planet, and was already embarking in his "solo" discography.

On the other hand, Robert Fripp, had to carry with the weight of "exiling" his instrument of choice, the electric guitar, with its perfectly tuned strings to the Central-European, canons of structures, to the unruly world of Droning-Noise.

This was a great first step for the electric guitar kingdom and the court of guitarists that follows. He succeeded, without doubts, and his guitar playing, changed for good and for long. (Yes, there are "solos" and "riffs", but on the un-musical side of noise.)

It is quiet unwise to approach this "No Pussyfooting" effort as a musical effort, just because it is recorded. These are 2 long -timed "Drone-like" compositions, (around 20 minutes each), which are "raw", electronic, non-musical structures, which are constructed in the pure electronic spirit of the early pioneers, but transfixed for the Avant Garde audiophiles of now, by two of the most prolific composers and founders of not only this sub-genre, but of Prog.

WARNING----"To expect "music" is missing the whole trip." *****5 PA stars!

Report this review (#972331)
Posted Thursday, June 6, 2013 | Review Permalink
Post/Math Rock Team
5 stars Its funny what two musical geniuses can do when you put them together. Brian Eno had been in contact with Robert Fripp for a time before this one night when he invited Fripp to his home studio. Eno, as it happened, was experimenting with the idea of using tape loops to make music. They eventually had an idea where Fripp would play various drones and rises on his Les Paul, and Eno would take recordings of these and loop them to make them last longer. Fripp would then lay down a few solos to be put on top of the loops. The result is Side One, "The Heavenly Music Corporation", the first masterpiece of ambient. Perhaps the great secret sauce behind the majesty of proto-ambient is the willingness to allow for soft solos, and Fripp's wonderful playing on all guitar parts gives us atmosphere, and then gives us something to enjoy. The ending of the track tops off the piece with a wonderful descending guitar tone. A year later, Fripp put some guitar over loops from Eno's VCS3 and called the result "Swastika Girls": they apparently had found a torn page from some sort of Third Reich themed lad's mag or something of the sort, so the story goes. While not as excellent as the purely guitar "Corporation", it still pleases with ever wonderful guitar work and ethereal VCS tones. Not even Eno knew that one day at a German airport he would think to come back to these experiments and forge "Music For Airports"; the world was blindsided by how good and influential this album was, and only years after it first dropped. This is the font of ambient, and its water is sweet.
Report this review (#1320357)
Posted Friday, December 5, 2014 | Review Permalink

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