also by Brian Eno:
An interesting Eno solo album of mostly instrumental techno pop. It's a rather entertaining diversion from his mostly ambient solo work of the previous decade. Much of it is on the same wavelength as "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" - smart twitchy rhythms and funky tweakery, but the percussion is heavily processed and less ethnic. The beats are decorated with lots of cool flourishes like sampled voice soundbites, electronic whizzes, routine Robert Fripp guitar fireworks, and even the occasional bit of singing.
While much of it sounds like exercises in remixing nothing in particular, a few great tunes shine out. "Fractal Zoom" has a soaring David Byrne-style vocal over its clockwork groove. The spacious ballad "The Roil, The Choke" is the one with some actual Eno-singing. It's nice nonsense word-play, straight out of one of his 70s pop albums. Similarly on "Ali Click" Eno raps out a silly rhyme over some jangly funk. Out of the pieces of pure electronica, the imposing Tangerine Dream-style dark throbber "Web" impresses the most, and suits its hypnotic remix.
It's the kind of clean, studio-savvy sound that was bound to impress in the 1980s - think Art of Noise, Yello, Pet Shop Boys and such, but it seems to have lost its impact with time. Though nothing special, it's still entertaining and well put-together.
July 4, 2006