Ever the iconoclast, if there is one thing that Brian Eno has done with any degree of consistency throughout his varied career, it is presenting his art in an array of perpetually "out of the box" forums. All that changed – in a manner of speaking – with the release of two companion multi-disc compilations. Eno Box I: Instrumentals (1994) condenses his wordless creations, while Eno Box II: Vocals (1993) does the same for the rest of his major works on a similarly sized volume. Interestingly – and in his typically contrary fashion – this initial installment was actually issued last. Each of Eno Box I: Instrumentals' three CDs respectively concentrates on a specific facet of the artist's copious back catalog.
"Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)" is the second solo album by English musician Brian Eno. Unlike his previous album "Here Come the Warm Jets", Eno used a core band of five instrumentalists (keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and percussion) and used fewer guest musicians. Also participating was guitarist and co-writer Phil Manzanera, who had played with Eno in Roxy Music. It's a loose concept album - often inscrutable, but still playful - about espionage, the Chinese Communist revolution, and dream associations, with the more stream-of-consciousness lyrics beginning to resemble the sorts of random connections made in dream states…
In 2016, as he was preparing for the release of Reflection, Brian Eno admitted that he wasn't quite sure what the term "ambient music" even means anymore. It's been used to describe everything from atmospheric techno to tense, foreboding sound sculptures. For him, it's always referred to generative compositions, unrestricted by time constraints or rhythmic structures, and often left to chance. Reflection continues with the type of albums he initiated with 1975's untouchable Discreet Music. The piece slowly unfolds over the course of an hour, with notes calmly being suspended in mid-air, only to drift away and pop up later at their leisure.
Brian Eno brings the first album in three and a half years. This Japanese edition features SHM-CD format, and includes four pieces of art prints and a 8-page booklet. Special packaging. Special Feature - a bonus track for Japan. The Ship marks Brian Eno's first ambient album since 2012's Lux. Work on the album began as a 3-D sound installation in Stockholm, but altered to stereo when Eno realized he could sing in a low C, The Ship's root note. The Ship contains two works, the 21-minute title track, and the three-part "Fickle Sun." The title piece, a reflection on the sinking of the Titanic, recalls a moment in his distant past: he released Gavin Bryars' Sinking of the Titanic on his Obscure Music label in 1975.
This one-disc run through Underworld's 20-year career serves a purpose, yet newcomers should know this prime techno act already has a couple of necessary albums (Dubnobasswithmyheadman and Second Toughest in the Infants), plus there's a companion release to this set (1992-2012) that features the "real" full-length versions of most of these cuts, although you do have to shell out for a second disc. On top of this all, folks intrigued by Underworld generally fall in love with them, so this gateway drug will likely become redundant.
The subject of many poor quality bootlegs, this concert - one of only a handful undertaken by Fripp & Eno - is routinely described as ‘legendary’. Hearing the tapes in fully restored audio quality, it's easy to understand why it attracts such reverence now and perhaps, why the shows attracted such hostility then. No Roxy Music hits, No King Crimson riffs, just a duo sitting in near darkness with a reel to reel tape recorder, improvising over the pre-recorded loops with a filmed background projection. Replace the reel to reel machine with a couple of laptops/iPads/sequencers and the core of much current live performance from electronica to hip-hop was there some thirty years in advance. At the time, audiences responded to such a glimpse of the future with booing, walkouts and general confusion.