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Brian Eno - Discreet Music CD (album) cover


Brian Eno


Progressive Electronic

3.46 | 111 ratings

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5 stars Brian Eno is often thought of the thinking man of progressive music. Although many thinking men exist in the genre, Eno was the one who thought the hardest, particularly in both the abstract and the minimalist. The way he perceived music as a whole both in how it's psychologically defined and how it exists in space were paramount in bringing a new mindset to the pop music world.

However when you take all this and compress it down into one album, it garners a different look. Specifically, one tagged as "ambient". In recent years this term has a stigma attached to it, and generally will cause a quick dismissal from those who you bring it up to. Sure, countless very simple projects have also called themselves ambient, but as Eno has stated, what ambient really means is practically impossible to pin down these days. Mr. Eno may be a bit forgetful however, as he seems to have forgotten that he practically created modern ambient electronic music back in 1975. Discreet Music is one of the most unadulterated expressions of noise and vibration, a sound that seems disembodied from human thought and is something that just purely....exists. Of course Kraftwerk often experimented with ambient/avant-garde electronics before Eno even began working with Robert Fripp in 1973, but what Kraftwerk either didn't care to or failed to realize at the time that ambient music is what Eno created; sprawling, hour-or-more- long, meandering behemoths of various rhythmic tones and electronic fluidity that do well to not branch off uncomfortably by being overly dynamic. This not only creates a pleasant sound, but also removes the chance of having any slip ups if you go off the avant-garde deep end, which even Eno has done in the past. Kraftwerk understood the meaning of this quite well even before Eno did, with 1974's Autobahn epic replete with vehicle imagery, but it took another year for another musician to perfect it, and that just so happened to be Eno.

The rest of the album aside from the title track epic is three different variations of Canon in D Major by Johann Pachelbel. While not being the centrepiece, Eno's interpretations of the classic 'Pachabel's Canon' which, while being in basic terms the same Canon you've heard for years, are indeed testaments to Eno's mixing of industrial music with the classical. 'Fullness of the Wind' I believe is the best of the three.

What I think Discreet Music represents is a wholesome and unbroken part of Eno's career, which both represents a then stepping stone but also a timeless element in one of the most prolific electronic musician's music. That, and it's a signal for other artists even today to expound on it to find the deepest crevasses the human spirit can travel to. Either that, or I'm just blowing it out of proportion. Part of me, though, thinks I'm right.

aglasshouse | 5/5 |


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