2. Ambient Music & Bowie
Ambient music has made acts like Aphex Twin & numerous other half-baked chancers, wads of loot in recent times. It was Brian Eno who single handedly pioneered this concept in the 1970’s.
His revolutionary masterworks in this field include both the seminal & timeless,
Ambient One : Music for Airports
& the astoundingly lush & beautiful, Ambient Two : The Plateaux of Mirror which also features twiddly piano bits by Harold Budd.
These are essential records & if you do not own them then you are only living half a life.
Of the two, Plateaux of Mirror is our favourite one & we listen to this recording all of the time, as it is on continuous repeat in our kitchen 24 hours a day.
Both of these landmark recordings are as ignorable as they are listenable & they provide the ultimate, in calm, reflective music, that would most probably be pigeonholed as Chill Out, were these two outstanding records released today.
They paint our world & colour in our lives. They also calm excitable animals & they soothe your soul. Brian did a lot more ambient works, collaborating with many great artists, but we are not overstating things when we say that we & our dog, could not live without these two particular recordings…
We have literally heard them thousands & thousands of times & will continue to listen to one or the other of them, at the very least daily, most probably right up until the minute we drop dead.
Let’s face it kids, the whole Bowie thing is a page in itself & we have to be allowed to eat & sleep sometime, so we will take a raincheck & cover that one another day…
In relation to our Brian though, he worked, collaborating with David Bowie on some of his finest & most groundbreaking albums, the genre defying & era defining… Low, Heroes & Lodger.
He didn’t do all the production on them, as Tony Visconti was also involved, but he contributes to them greatly & his influence is quite literally, smeared all over all three of them.
Low especially, can only really be seen as a Bowie / Eno album, such is the influence of Brian on it. Brian brought new sound treatments & joined up the dots, between the experimental Berlin sounds of bands like Kraftwerk & David’s mad take on things. These 3 albums are properly out there.
The group of artists involved in these recordings, included the revolutionary guitar players Robert Fripp & Adrian Belew, who crop up throughout Brian’s work around this time & during his astoundingly far out, Talking Heads period.