INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Earbuddy JULY 2, 2014 - by Ryan Rogers
ENO/HYDE: HIGH LIFE
Brian Eno and Underworld's Karl Hyde are undoubtedly two of the most influential figures in the UK electronica scene. Brian Eno is notorious for being a workaholic and a big-time collaborator, working with acts such as David Byrne, U2, Robert Fripp, etc. and he always seems to bring a sense of minimalist perfectionism each time round. High Life is the second release Eno and Hyde has put out this year, the first being Someday World, which was released only two months before High Life.
High Life, in terms of Eno's prolific discography, is most comparable to his first album with David Byrne, My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, in that the album revolves around the same themes of African-style musicianship, electronics, and spontaneity. For the most part, Eno's contribution to the album outshines Hyde's, and it makes you wonder what exactly led the guy who created the monolithic Born Slippy Nuxx off of the Trainspotting soundtrack to create something so instrument-based and non-confrontational.
The tracks run about the same length as Underworld tracks, but the content of the songs are very Eno-esque. While most of the album is instrumental-based, Cells & Bells recalls the sound from Before And After Science in the form of a morose ballad to cap off the sunny African Fela Kuti-inspired rock that dominates High Life.
It's sort of strange to call this LP High Life when Eno at this age is the most sober and serious he has ever been. High Life is a fun diversion that unearths some great musical memories of Eno's and Hyde's past work, but it doesn't have the same staying power of the albums from their respective heydays. As Sick Boy would say, "well, at one time, you've got it, and then you lose it, and it's gone forever."