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Ambient Eno-Land

Brian Eno is the ambient Jesus.

There. I said it. This statement now exists permanently in the world of cyberspace, and I fully support my words.  Here in the Bible belt though, a mortal comparison to the “messiah” may invite some complaints; yet those in the ambient “know” if you will, would most likely agree.

Between the early 1970s and the mid-1980s, electronic and experimental music truly took shape.  The preceding years in European music unleashed a revolutionary wave of experimental and machine-enhanced compositions with the avant-garde genre, musique concrete, Musique d’ameublement (furniture music) and Muzak, Inc.  Most music enthusiasts disregard Muzak Inc., though, claiming environmental music lacks the depth that beautiful sound requires.

Around 1975, Brian Eno took an interest in environmental music, and wished to add life and vitality to a seemingly vapid genre.  In 1978, Eno’s first truly Ambient LP Ambient 1: Music for Airport was produced, allowing the artist to define his own style in his realization of other easy listening varieties.

“Whereas conventional background music is produced by stripping away all sense of doubt and uncertainty (and thus all genuine interest) from the music, Ambient Music retains these qualities… their intention is to ‘brighten the environment (thus supposedly alleviating the tedium of routine tasks and leveling out the natural ups and downs of the body rhythms) Ambient Music is intended to induce calm and a space to think”

–       Brian Eno, September 1978

Eno collaborated with seemingly every influential musician in the experimental realm, from David Bowie to Nico, Harold Budd to Cluster; he co-wrote, produced, and contributed to almost every Progressive Rock assemblage during the 1970s and ‘80s.

Cheers to Brian Eno for rethinking the importance of complexity and depth within the simplicity of minimalist music.

by alex case-cohen
tune in to ambient transience this friday morning from midnight to 2 a.m. for your eno fix.