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- Panic Of Looking by Brian Eno and the words of Rick Holland
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Baldy ambient pioneer and cat loving genius Brian Eno returns with Rick Holland in tow for another instalment of poetry/spoken word. I haven't heard the duo's previous outing 'Drums Between The Bells' so I can't make general comparisons in quality but I perceive this to a worthwhile venture and a definite step up from last years solo effort 'Small Craft On A Milk Sea'. Eno/Holland seem to enjoy messing about the relationship between vocalist and musician/producer. Eno's compositions here is generally sparse and decisive with the words and melodic phrasing drifting in and out of prominence. Sometimes they take centre stage, at times they're shunted back in favour of a musical gesture or, more commonly, the vocals, though spoken as opposed to sung, sit level in the mix giving the tracks an autonomous feel. Opener 'In The Future' works best for me. It hints at a spiritual/gospel style where the melody and vocal phrasing are practically in unison. The inclusion of vocals from Eno's daughter Darla gives it that extra little push at the end, bringing to mind late era Spiritualized. The other standout moments on first listen are the murky 'Panic Of Looking' and 'If These Footsteps' that blesses the listener with a beats (albeit muddy ones) that, combined the with a determined poetic vocal approach, are reminiscent of the tension present in Massive Attack's 'Karmacoma', a track that possesses a relax yet mildly anxious quality. Bronagh Gallagher's on here too which seems odd. Oh, and the artwork is an Eno creation that reminds me of Vaughan Oliver's 4AD work. That is all.
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