INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Arts Desk APRIL 30, 2014 - by Mark Kidel
BRIAN ENO AND KARL HYDE: SOMEDAY WORLD
An unlikely marriage made in heaven
Brian Eno is a born collaborator as well as a highly esteemed producer. He is one of those musicians with a strong personal signature but who work with a minimum of ego. Branded as an egghead - a barbed label which reflects as much as anything a deeply British mistrust of intelligence - Eno might seem an unlikely partner for Underworld's Karl Hyde. But he's, among other things, a lover of intricate rhythmic patterns - a love first revealed in the groundbreaking collaboration with David Byrne, My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, as well as a fan of gospel. Both these enthusiasms shine through on an album that is made for dancing and pumps out high energy feeling, even when tempered with a tinge of melancholia.
And Karl Hyde, although his 2012 solo album, Edgeland produced by Eno-cohort Leo Abrahams, was characterised by unexpected introversion, has collaborated in producing some of the most memorably ecstatic British dance music, not least the theme-song of the Trainspotting generation, Born Slippy .NUXX.
Most of the tracks on the album, written by Eno and Hyde, are up-tempo, displaying a deftly constructed warp and weft of textures that build towards heart-warming waves of almost symphonic sound. There's much that feels anthemic here - those exhilarating peaks that follow gentle troughs, bursts of joyous extroversion coming after more introspective and calming lulls. At the opening of a song like Who Rings The Bell, there are echoes of Coldplay - perhaps because of the presence of the band's drummer, Will Champion, but more likely because Eno, who has produced them, clearly shares an almost romantic - and very English - sensibility.
On Daddy's Car, as well as on a number of other tracks, the polyrhythms suggest Afro-Beat - helped along by percussion from Chris Vatalaro of the Brooklyn band Antibalas, masters of the genre. The stand-out track is probably Who Built This World, a song in which the emotional temperature rises inexorably from cold edginess to a warm feel-good rush. There are moments when the echo-laden, multi-track vocals, a familiar Eno production trope, feel a little relentless, but overall, this is a hugely enjoyable album that should please fans of Brian Eno as much as those of Underworld.