INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Prog SEPTEMBER 2014 - by Sid Smith
GREATER LENGTHS: AN ALL SAINTS COMPILATION
Ace compendium of ambient artists old and new.
The post-Eno ambient landscape of the '70s and '80s was soon littered with works that confused minimalist aesthetic with autopilot vacuity. In the early 1990s the All Saints label released albums that subtly redefined the genre. Disc One of this double set compiles many of the big hitters such as Harold Budd, Laraaji, Roedelius, Roger Eno etc., showcasing a more organic pastoralism, less reliant upon merely setting the controls for the heart of the drone. Overlooked treasures include John Paul Jones' unsettling 4-Minute Warning. Disc Two hands over the reins to today's generation of artists whose remixes often take the merest sliver of source material to create fascinating transformative essays that explore their elements in microcosmic detail. Machinefabriek's take on Moon Shines At Night submerges Djivan Gasparyan's plaintive duduk playing into a serpentine pitch-altered flow, but the original's spirit somehow remains surprisingly intact. Roger Eno's Between Tides receives a charming all-acoustic reading by guitarist James Blackshaw and is another compelling reminder that it's Brian's younger brother who's the more articulate composer.