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Brian Eno - Ambient 4 - On Land CD (album) cover


Brian Eno


Progressive Electronic

3.98 | 220 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is clearly the darkest of the four 'Ambient' works from the series, It's a moodier, more organic, darker Eno who plays with a creepy Halloween mask wrapped around his bald egg head. Ready to scare any children who approach his front door.

There's a lot more going on than displayed in the previous three outings. However, it's still very minimal and quiet. There's only hints of melody amongst the sea of bleak tranquility. This is the album where he states in the liner notes that - 'I find the synthesiser to be of limited usefulness due to it having a non organic quality'. Make of that what you will, as I'm sure I can hear many synths used throughout.

Funny little squishes and watery bloops recur on 'Tal Coat' as all the while splutters of analogue tones flitter around like fairies waving wands at the bottom of your garden. This one's on a totally different plane from previous releases. It's more distant and less cosy. In all there appear to be five musicians present which is surprising considering the starkness of sound.

While I much prefer the beautiful 'Ambient 2' with Harold Budd, this reveals a solo Eno, displaying all the talent he undoubtedly had. It's not his best, but I'd have to call it one of the progenitors of 'Dark Ambient'.

The best is left till last with the ultra-bleak 'Dunwich Beach, Autumn' where beautiful decayed piano sounds play a mournful but attractive tune. It's miserable, yet pretty at the same time. I guess most of Eno's work can be described in this way.

Oh and by the way, the frog field recordings are brilliant.

Dobermensch | 3/5 |


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