INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Telegraph JULY 4, 2014 - by Neil McCormick
ENO/HYDE: HIGH LIFE: 'IDEAS IN SEARCH OF A SONG'
Brian Eno and Karl Hyde's second collaborative effort was knocked up in a week and sounds like it, says Neil McCormick
The continuing adventures of two of Britain's most cerebral musical provocateurs, Brian Eno and Karl Hyde's second album sounds like a series of sonic ideas in search of a song. Eno has a mythic aura as one of rock's most brilliant instigators and provocateurs, yet despite his vast and ever-expanding solo catalogue, his real impact has been made as a facilitator for other artists, notably David Bowie, Talking Heads, U2 and Coldplay. When he lends his avant garde spirit to someone with songcraft and charisma, the sky is the limit. As the thin voice and jagged rhythmic guitar of indie electronic dance duo Underworld, Karl Hyde is perhaps too much in the same vein to really galvanise Eno.
Together, Eno and Hyde made the sketchy Someday World, released by experimental label Warp in May. Evidently enjoying themselves, they knocked this follow-up together in a week, and frankly it sounds like it. If you cherish spontaneity, High Life has a hypnotic quality, drawing on north African funk and Steve Reich minimalism. There are things going on here that will, in all likelihood, percolate through to stadium pop in due course but Hyde lacks the vocal presence or structural songcraft to shape the material into something greater than its parts.