"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Inpress NOVEMBER 8, 2012 - by Kosta Lucas
BRIAN ENO: LUX
Let's face it. Some artists are just so influential that there comes a time when they reach a certain level of inscrutability. Bob Dylan could be considered one of them; Björk is another; and it's safe to say that Brian Eno would be also. One of popular electronic music's first proponents, Eno is seen as the father of ambient, despite making some fantastic glam-styled art-pop albums like Here Come The Warm Jets and Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) in the mid-'70s.
Ambient is one of those stigmatised genres that still divides people on the question of whether it is actually art or just boring self-indulgence. As a precursor to things like muzak, and waiting room music, ambient music is designed to creep into your mind with minimal detection and render you towards feeling a certain way. Alternatively, it could be seen as the series of sparse, oddly-timed pulses and subtle timbral manipulations that doesn't add up to anything resembling a 'song'.
Despite Eno's musical calibre and influence on modern music, Lux will do nothing to settle that debate. Lux (the measure of the intensity of light particles) is a seventy-five-minute composition split into four parts, and it will either bore the bejesus out of you or you'll get lost in its spacious, luxurious netherworld of echo-laden piano strokes and eerily pitchy strings. It's as simple as that. If you're at all inclined to even give Lux a chance, be aware that it feels designed to be an intensely solitary musical experience. Do this and you'll probably start imagining thousands of gently peaking and fading lights in your mind's eye. Otherwise, Lux will not enlighten the uninitiated about Eno's famed musical genius.