INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Mojo FEBRUARY 2017 - by David Sheppard
BRIAN ENO: REFLECTION
Second album in nine months from the increasingly prolific ambient grandee.
Fairly hot on the heels of the vocal-ornamented The Ship, Brian Eno returns with music of a more signature stripe. Vaguely reminiscent of lengthy, meditative ambient benchmarks such as Discreet Music and Thursday Afternoon, the less-than-startlingly titled Reflection compromises a single fifty-four-minute-long piece of pellucid instrumental music created using the generative technology that Eno has long extolled. A method of 'growing' music algorithmically, by feeding parameters into a software programme, the resultant music is, in Eno's words, "probabilistic... so the piece unfolds differently every time it is activated". Essentially one of these chance 'unfoldings' captured for posterity, Reflection's electric piano-like note droplets and vapour-trail synths suggest the aural equivalent of a lava lamp's viscous forms slowly rising and falling, until a sudden, unpredictably halting phrase momentarily shatters the enveloping, somnolent mood. It's pleasant enough, if hardly transcendent, and feels - whisper it - ever so slightly old fashioned.