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.
Both Brian Eno and John Cale have always flirted with conventional pop music throughout their careers, while reserving the right to go off on less accessible experiments, which means they've always held out the promise that they would make something as attractive as this synthesizer-dominated collection, on which Eno comes as close to the mainstream as he has since Another Green World and Cale is as catchy as he's been since Honi Soit. The result is one of the best albums either one has ever made. [A 2005 reissue added two bonus tracks: "Grandfather's House" and "You Don't Miss Your Water."]
These show notes are written by long-standing Frippertronics expert and unofficial archivist, Allan Okada, whose help in the restoration of this concert has been invaluable. This historic recording documents an extremely rare and classic performance of a mysterious collaborative tour from two of the most creative and fascinating figures in rock. It is one of the most rewarding live recordings this writer has ever heard. For any fan of ‘No Pussyfooting’ or ‘Evening Star’, this live recording is of epic significance and thanks to the efforts of Alex Mundy, is now also comparable in audio quality, by synchronizing the most complete and best (by a mile) available live bootleg recording with Eno's stage tapes recently discovered.
6 collected Eno tracks from Music from Films III, The Drop and Wrong Way Up. 1/2 Music for Airports track by Bang on a Can + 5 interesting reworks with strings by Popoli Dalpane Ensemble and another 3 reworks by Arturo Stalteri. These latter string reworks include St. Elmo's Fire, By this River, Driving me Backwards, SparrowFall, Another Green World