INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Shindig! JUNE 2018 - by Neil Hussey
BRIAN ENO: MUSIC FOR INSTALLATIONS
For some, the concept of ambient music is a strange one. The very notion that music should just exist as a kind of somnolent background hum, hovering in the middle distance, is anathema to many. Surely, music is there to be listened to and engaged with; but then how many of us nowadays actually do that? Isn't all music effectively background music now?
As the title implies, this is ambient music with a (sort of) purpose: intended to accompany various art installations, it hangs there like chunks of sonic sculpture. Some of this is as vapid and insubstantial as smoke. Disc One drifts pleasantly but leaves little trace. The shorter, more rhythmic pieces on Disc Five work better, offering up a kind of chilled cosmic minimalism.
Strummed guitars and gamelan sounds creep in occasionally. Ethereal, treated voices add texture on 77 Million Paintings.
Beautiful, beguiling, but sometimes frustrating too in its eagerness to play safe.