INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Rolling Stone DECEMBER 10, 1992 - by Mark Coleman
BRIAN ENO: NERVE NET / RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: HEARTBEAT
Considering his spark on U2'S Achtung Baby, not to mention his influence on Britain's dream-pop droners, Brian Eno is due. This conceptual tinkerer hasn't dropped a well-developed pop album since Before And After Science in 1977. Apparently, he's still not ready. Nerve Net continues the diffuse ways of his '80s ambient excursions, Juju Space Jazz kicks up some snaky funk-fusion dust, but the majority of these sparse instrumental snippets barely register. No album that employs both kinetic drummer Sugarfoot Moffett and high-tension rock guitarist Robert Quine should sound this polite.
On his third major-label effort in America, Ryuichi Sakamoto pulls off an ambitious world-pop travelogue. Heartbeat links a series of high-tech yet human experiments in a multilingual groove. Sweet diva emoting (Heartbeat) rubs up against drawling French hip-hop (Triste); jazzy quiet-storm courting (Sayonara) contends with sultry Asian soul singing (Nuages). And there's even a pretty art-rock closer, Cloud No. 9, that pays fitting tribute to Eno, who paved the way for Heartbeat's excursions.