INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Wired AUGUST 23, 2010 - by Eliot Van Buskirk
TRACK LIST FROM BRIAN ENO'S UPCOMING ALBUM, SMALL CRAFT ON A MILK SEA
Innovative musician Brian Eno has gone through several evolutions over the years, from reluctant pop genius to ambient pioneer and beyond. Now, he's preparing to release his first solo album in five years, Small Craft On A Milk Sea.
The track listing, provided exclusively to Wired.com, can be viewed below. While the official Brian Eno website delivers additional details about the album and its packaging, it curiously lacks any way to listen to even a snippet of one of the songs.
However, we know Eno recorded the album with Jon Hopkins and Leo Abrahams, two sidemen/composers with whom he has been playing live for years. (It's officially described as "a Brian Eno album featuring Leo Abrahams and Jon Hopkins.")
Earlier this month, Abrahams offered a hint at what Small Craft On A Milk Sea might sound like in a blog post that appears to have since been deleted.
"It contains the fruits of several years of jams between the three of us," wrote Abrahams. "I've not heard anything quite like it - it sounds 'live' and 'alien' at the same time. Some things have been permitted to survive, which only Brian would have had the courage to let go, and it's so much the better for it."
Josh Berman of Warp Records, which will release Small Craft On A Milk Sea in November, described the album's sound in an e-mail to Wired.com.
"This record swings from ambient droning tones to some up-tempo pieces featuring guitar work by Leo Abrahams and programming and various sounds from composer and production whiz Jon Hopkins," said Berman. "The whole thing has a rather ethereal vibe."
Eno is quite the innovator, as he has proven several times over, including during a somewhat recent collaboration with David Byrne. We feel safe predicting this music will not likely attract the attention of the Justin Bieber camp, judging from Abraham's and Berman's descriptions, and Eno's continued trajectory into the experimental.
As Eno keeps moving into the future, his past continues to inspire subsequent generations. Several artists have borrowed significantly from his catalog, including TV On The Radio, whose Return To Cookie Mountain harkens back to Eno's somewhat similarly named 1974 album Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy).
Small Craft On A Milk Sea is slated for a November 2 release in the United States and November 15 in the United Kingdom on Warp Records. The album will be available for pre-order starting Wednesday on Bleep as a "limited edition" boxed set (deluxe 180-gram vinyl, CD with four extra tracks, a square-foot lithographic print and high-quality MP3 and WAV downloads) or as one of two hundred and fifty numbered "collector's editions" (which includes all that plus a "one-off, entirely unique and customized" twelve-inch-square silkscreen print by Eno himself).
Other options include a CD digipack, 24-bit, audiophile-quality WAV (better-than-CD quality) and compressed files from iTunes, Amazon and other digital stores.
Here's the track listing, available here first: Emerald And Lime / Complex Heaven / Small Craft On A Milk Sea / Flint March / Horse / 2 Forms Of Anger / Bone Jump / Dust Shuffle / Paleosonic / Slow Ice, Old Moon / Lesser Heaven / Calcium Needles / Emerald And Stone / Written, Forgotten / Late Anthropocene