INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Prog SEPTEMBER 2020 - by Mike Barnes
BRIAN ENO: RAMS
Documentary on German industrial designer gets a fitting soundtrack.
Dieter Rams summed up his Bauhaus-influenced approach to interior and electrical product design as "Weniger, aber besser" or "Less is better", so it was no surprise that director Gary Hustwit approached Brian Eno to provide the soundtrack for his documentary Rams, released on vinyl especially for Record Store Day.
But while Eno has always loved musical systems, here he pursues a more active role in a series of vignettes that begin dramatically with the heavily treated fuzz guitars of Bright Clouds Of Metal. He explores Rams' aesthetic more overtly on Design As Reduction with its clean, shiny surfaces of echoed marimbas and synths and adds micro detail on the tiny, twinkling keyboard sounds of Shimmering Future. The lovely, gently swelling For A New Design evokes the moods of some of Eno's early ambient work and reminds us that for all his interest in theory, a lot of his music has been impressionistic and avowedly romantic. His other great strength is his ability to come up with poignant melodies, which he does on Unusual Temperament. It's quite charming that, even after all these years, he still sounds like an inspired beginner picking out a tune.