Sunday, February 1, 2015

Brian Eno - 1978 - Music For Films

Brian Eno
Music For Films

01. Aragon (1:37)
02. From the Same Hill (3:00)
03. Inland Sea (1:24)
04. Two Rapid Formations (3:23)
05. Slow Water (3:16)
06. Sparrowfall (1) (1:10)
07. Sparrowfall (2) (1:43)
08. Sparrowfall (3) (1:23)
09. Alternative 3 (3:15)
10. Quartz (2:02)
11. Events in Dense Fog (3:43)
12. 'There Is Nobody' (1:43)
13. Patrolling Wire Borders (1:42)
14. A Measured Room (1:05)
15. Task Force (1:22)
16. M386 (2:50)
17. Strange Light (2:09)

- Brian Eno / synthesiser, keyboards, vocals
- John Cale / viola
- Phil Collins / percussion
- Rhett Davies / trumpet
- Fred Frith / guitar
- Robert Fripp / guitar
- Percy Jones / bass
- Bill MacCormick / guitar
- Dave Mattacks / percussion
- Roderick Melvin / keyboards
- Paul Rudolph / guitar

 The original 'Music For Films' was a very limited edition 1 sided release that Eno produced to submit to TV and film producers as a demo of his soundtrack work. This was so well received that a year or so later it became a mainstream release with additional tracks. Not all of the pieces were actually used on soundtracks, which makes parts of this album a soundtrack for imaginary films.
This album is really a logical progression from Another Green World - short, atmospheric pieces with low key contributions from a range of guest musicians. Unlike Another Green World this album is completely instrumental and largely beat free, but the atmosphere is very similar. Half of the tracks are less than two minutes long, and many were recorded without any specific project in mind, so it's surprising that the album is so coherent. The only point at which the flow is disrupted is on 'Patrolling Wire Borders', which features some rather discordant viola from John Cale. Eno plays some very non-virtuoso piano and guitar in places, but it's his constantly imaginative use of synthesisers and electronics that really brings this album to life. My personal favourite is Sparrowfall parts 1 - 3, a series of perfectly executed synth and piano miniatures that owe as much to Erik Satie as they do to 70's rock.

This release sits nicely alongside later albums like The Shutov Assembly and Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, as well as the albums he recorded with Cluster at around the same time as this. It's not ambient in the strictest definition of the term; although few of the pieces feature much in the way of melodic or harmonic development, the fact that there are so many short tracks means that the atmosphere shifts and changes in a manner unlike that of Thursday Afternoon or Discreet Music.

Music For Films one of Eno's most accessible and enjoyable instrumental releases, and works particularly well as 'morning after' music should the listener be hung over.



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