Brian Eno: Lux

luxBrian Eno
(Opal Ltd.)

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An ambient, slow-rising, electronic plinking over rising electronic “strings” begins Brian Eno’s Lux, the composer/producer’s first solo album in seven years. Expanding on sonic texture themes present on his classics, Music For Films and Music for Airports, the 75 minutes here, with its 12 indistinct sections, envelope the listener in a way very few modern ambient releases can.

Lux, as all of Eno’s stuff, has a multi-media pedigree and/or beginning. (These songs evolved from work currently housed in the Great Gallery of the Place of Venaria in Turin.) By the time we are in the dead center of “Lux 1,” with its plinking coming to the fore (I’m hard pressed to determine if it’s Eno’s synth, Leo Abrahams’ “moog guitar” or Nell Catchpole’s viola), you can just imagine this music playing as background in a big space, as it did when it ran as a loop at Tokyo’s Haneda’s airport!

It’s certainly Abrahams on hand for the opening of “Lux 2,” a more swirling, immediate section with sprite-y flourishes. (Most of this sounds like a very precise volume pedal playing from Abrahams with Eno backing on his synth). “Lux 3” sees more notes crinkling into one over that usual electronic string rise and some full orchestrated sections in the middle.

While pretty, soft and certainly simple in production, an album like Lux is not a causal listen and not for everyone. Still, it is masterful stuff from Brian Eno.

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