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Two of the most pretentious of all arty rock stars collaborate and what do you get? Actually the result is a beautiful, tasteful piece of ambient composition. Amazingly it was made in 1975, before there even existed such a genre. With Fripp's variety of interesting guitar sounds, it's warmer and more listenable than the more austere ambient stuff such as "Music for Airports" that Eno was to produce later. "Wind on Water / Evening Star" is one of the finest pieces of music I've heard by either of these influential musicians. It opens with a crescendo of glittering guitar noise, to be soon washed away by a mellow, laid back refrain that is stretched out and played with for the rest of the piece. The two short inner tracks seem to experiment with backwards noises and tape trickery. The 28 minutes of "Index of Metals" are slightly more distant and opaque, with no melodies, just experimenting with the ebb and flow of pure sound.
October 30, 2003