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"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Hot Press NOVEMBER 5, 2012 - by Paul Nolan
BRIAN ENO: LUX
Stellar effort from super-producer and ambient guru...
Aside from his not inconsiderable achievements as a producer, Brian Eno is one of those musicians who has left such a deep imprint on a genre that he has become an adjective: a certain style of ethereal ambient music is routinely cited as 'Eno-esque'.
Still, while classics of their kind - and film/TV soundtrack perennials - such as Deep Blue Day and An Ending (Ascent) have inspired great work from the likes of Trent Reznor and Aphex Twin, nobody does ambient quite like Eno. This is evidenced on Lux the producer's first solo album for his spiritual home, Warp Records, which retains that unique, otherworldly feel that has always characterised Eno's best music.
Of course, this being Brian Eno, Lux isn't just a mere album, but "a seventy-five minute composition in twelve sections" that grew out of an Italian art installation. He also views it as a continuation of his 'Music For Thinking' project that includes Discreet Music and Neroli. So, don't expect any X-Factor cover versions. But whatever way you want to describe it, Lux is damn good.
At times, Lux seems so distant as to be barely there, yet it maintains a stirring emotional quality. The first track - each being titled Lux 1, Lux 2, etc. - is a brilliant mix of piano, strings and synth, which mid-way through goes very minimalist, with just distant piano notes and the faintest of synth sounds.
Track two takes a detour through a ghost town with haunting synth sounds, whilst the third track mixes twinkling synths and floating piano. Ladies and gentlemen, we are floating in space. The fourth movement of this interstellar composition closes proceedings in elegiac fashion.
As the football crowds used to sing, you're going home in a floating ambience.