Hope this story is true….

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Enjoying this reissue of Edward Larry Gordon’s Celestial Vibration on Soul Jazz imprint Universal Sound, basically two tracks of zither plus effects. They story goes that Brian Eno once heard him busking in Washington Square and produced his album Ambient *3/Day of Radiance which was released on EG under the name Laraaji (a play on Larry G). This is his first and previous album recorded after a music loving lawyer, Stuart White, heard him playing at a party. Trance dance.

[Apiento]

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No 2 in our producers series focuses on the work of Brian Eno. Tim H has compiled and has chosen to use primarily productions of his own music. Next up in the series – Andy Weatherall’s early years.



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[Apiento]

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Great Arena last night on BBC4 covering the work and life of Brian Eno. Eno gave Arena access to observe him working in the studio and talking with friends and colleagues including Richard Dawkins, Malcolm Gladwell, David Whittaker and Steve Lillywhite. The program is available until Friday 29th January 2010.

Here he talks about his favourite productions.


Donna Summer: Sate of Independence

“Produced by Giorgio Moroder, it’s an amazing production. Putting the crudely mechanical, duugguder dugguder dugguder, this kind of Germanic robot thing, against the incredibly sexy emotional organic gospel singing. It sounded so far ahead of people who thought they were making modern music.”

The Beatles: Tomorrow Never Knows

“Again very important for me because it was very clear that song didn’t exist before it got to the studio (plays the song on a guitar). You know… It wouldn’t have been, well I am sure it wouldn’t have been as crappy as that (referencing version he just played) but that’s the kind of thing it would have been and yet it turned into this amazing jet stream psychedelic fantasy piece and entirely to do with electronics and with the use of the studio and with a lot of brilliant open minds.”

“Then the Velvet Underground – that’s production of restraint. You have to admire people who say the best thing I can do for this piece of music is defend it against the recording industry ’cause I am sure there were all sorts of people sitting around saying ‘ooh you should get a proper drummer, it’d be so much better with a proper drummer, instead of that woman who can only hit one drum at a time’.”

He then went on to talk about his life growing up in a small town in Suffolk which was surrounded by air bases (both American and British) and in turn had 17,000 GI’s within about 5 miles of the town.

“As the town was the closest place for them to go for entertainment there were lots of coffee houses in the town, which had jukeboxes, which mostly had American music on because the clientele were mostly Americans. So from an early age i was hearing really, really good doo wop and deep southern R&B. I’ve still got some of those records. ‘Life’s too short’ by The Lafayettes, which was not a doo wop song but a very mysterious single that meant a lot to me. The main rhythmic element in it is just someone playing rim shots, playing on the edge of the snare drum, there’s no big drums in it. So you have this very sparse background feeling and this urgent singing over the top.

I was always impressed by music I couldn’t penetrate the mystery of.”

Lovely stuff.

[Apiento]

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streatham-island

Brian Eno

Not much to be said about Eno which hasn’t been said elsewhere, better. Have a look at Lester Bangs’ pieces about him here: it’s a good read. I like pretty much everything he did up to about ’85, and very little after that (although the ‘Another Day On Earth’ LP from 2005 was a pleasant surprise).

This track appeared as part of a retrospective box-set which came out in ’83. I think it’s an unfinished outtake – not sure from what, except that Daniel Lanois and Eno’s brother, Roger, are on it, so I’d guess it was recorded ’81 or ’82. It doesn’t do much more than set a mood, but the mood it sets is a good one.

Brian Eno: Mist/Rhythm
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[Tim Hayter]

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