Music » Record Reviews

Brian Eno: Drums Between the Bells

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In his 40-plus years of recording, Brian Eno — ex-Glam God and innovator emeritus of ambient music — has exhibited an other-worldly panache for pitting unlikely sonic assemblages against one another. From his aurally repetitive experiment into the possibilities of incidental score, Discreet Music, to his collaboration with David Byrne, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (an album that foreshadowed everything from Colourbox to that trippy brainwash Room 23 scene in Lost), Eno has been a relentless provocateur and proselytizer of all manner of uncharted art rock. Drums Between the Bells, which marries slutty percussion with the words of poet Rick Holland amid a cascading wall of slick synth work, extends itself somewhere between 1977's Before and After Science and 1992's Nerve Net. The album's 15 tracks could inspire an IMAX movie involving spoken word cosmonauts reciting a list of complaints against the detractors of Italo Calvino's Cosmicomics. Eno's admirers will be happy to know that this man — who in recent years has lent his musical talent to Windows 95 and to that Peter Jackson flop The Lovely Bones — is still at the peak of an electronica he once pioneered.

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