INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
College Music Journal NOVEMBER 10, 2000 - by Steve Ciabattoni
BRIAN ENO: THE DROP
Is The Drop Brian Eno's answer to the current gaga over electronica? No, not really. The Drop is more like a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question Eno was never really asked. He creates this music to be what you would get if you half described modem jazz to someone who had never heard it, and then that person (half forgetting what you said) tried to play it. Perhaps only Eno could make this absurdist concept - which should really only work on paper or hanging on some Belgian gallery wall - work on record. Yes, like modem jazz and be-hop, The Drop has syncopated rhythms, long roving melodies and deftly-textured sonic layers. But unlike modem jazz, this seventy-four-minute album uses rather soulless instruments to create its ironic moods. Eno's drum programming favors spastic robotic rhythms, yet retains a jazz sensibility to its grooves. In fact, there always seems to be a "yet" around every corner of The Drop. It is utterly tacky, yet surprisingly pretty; it is darkly aloof, yet playful, and so on. The digital hi-hat and the rubbery synth solo of Swanky illuminate what Eno's been a master of for years, making curiously moving music from ice-cold technology. If there is life on Mars, then this is the music playing in its airport bars. Drop the needle on: Swanky, Blissed, M.C. Organ and Dear World.