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As with all Eno's 'Music For...’ series there'll be those that sneer with derision at the supposed nothingness and futility of ambient because they think all music should be thick with meaning and purpose and drive. They forget to consider that this genre may be meant merely as sound-construction for meditative contemplation or mood-enhancing background music. This guy is the Godfather of it, lest we forget.
The older I get the more shrill, teeth-gratingly awful, hopelessly derivative and crass I find the majority of popular music. I can still listen to, say, hardcore punk or blistering warehouse techno and totally enjoy it so I'm not past it yet...I'm moaning about the music that blares from shops, bad pubs and people's iPhones...horrid, braying, vacuous compressed shit that stabs you in the temples and makes you feel murderous. This is why 'Lux' is a gift to be grateful for.
Thank you Brian, for returning to the peace-inducing sounds of your classic ambient series. It is recognisably your work too, your signatures are all over it. Not many people can construct ambient piano-based music that is so tentatively suspended like crystals of ice in the air and build this delectable aura of mystery, intrigue and zen-like calm. There's more going on that just the pondering of piano trails. Some lush discreet synth tones and sweet wistful string flurries carry these four pieces beautifully. There are brief interjections from such things as a trumpet, mandolin or acoustic guitar and a glockenspiel enters the frame in the last scene but these are largely anything but barely-there embellishments.It's soaked with that classic Eno sound - expertly metered use of widescreen space, scintillating atmospheres and this undeniable glistening elegance. I've listened to this every night for the last week and struggle to truly put my finger on what it is that makes it so special, for it is. Ignore the critics, his last couple of releases for Warp may have been a little patchy but 'Lux' - recorded initially for a gallery installation in Turin - is four magical movements for those twilight hours with a good glass of red and a long aromatic chong. Or just something supremely peaceful to fall asleep to...
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- LUX by Brian Eno
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