Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois and Roger Eno – Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks (Extended Edition) – UMC

Brian Eno is a bit like God. Always present playing somewhere in the distance. Echoing into collective consciousness now and again. Maybe that’s why he has had the Asteroid 81948 named after him: Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, or Eno for short. Besides, he is undoubtedly one of the most important, significant artists of this, and indeed the previous century with an influence stretching out far beyond any human horizon sculpting sonic masterpieces that resound into the sublime ether from the 1970’s to today. This latest re-release, originating from 1983, revisits the flurry of ambience created alongside his brother Roger and Daniel Lanois was produced to accompany the documentary ‘For All Mankind’ by Al Reinert, celebrating the Apollo 11 moon landing of 1969. Zoom fast-forwards to now and the 50th anniversary of that surreal, cosmic event now features the original album (remastered by Abbey Road’s Miles Showell), plus an accompanying additional album of 11 new compositions which freshly reimagine the soundtrack. Analytically, as we do like to analyse the man’s work, categorising and theorising as to this and that, for me this isn’t his most important moment. Not that it isn’t great. It’s just not as great as the 1970’s trio from Music For Airports, but music is of course a personal journey and whatever reflects time and space for you is always going to be most significant. What is perhaps most interesting here, in that context, is the comparison of the new music which has been created sonically, as well as highlighting the progression from then to now. ‘For All Mankind’ occasionally marks a more playful, melodic side while also hitting those atmospheric buttons relieving brilliant sensations, most notably on the piano punctuated Waking Up. Or tearing at the heartstrings via on the picture-postcard, haunting nostalgia of the closing, Like I was A Spectator. Moments that capture time like these don’t come much more elated….

Meandering past the point of no return…

Release: July 19



Brian Eno – Discreet Music/ Music For Films/ Music For Airports/ On Land – UMC / Virgin EMI

If music wasn’t subjective then we wouldn’t talk about it. If Brian Eno didn’t exist then the world would be different. If you have not heard these albums before how you perceive experience will change. Is all of this important? You know it is. The one word that doesn’t count here is, Nostalgia. With any other type of music – with the exception of Classical – that term can be applied. Certainly Disco, certainly describing decades too. And that allows for a kind of breathy application to the music that generates its own space and vitality. A resolution that dissolves into time, breathing an eternity of potential around it. The thing is, you can feed your own emotions and experiences into these evolving landscapes. Perhaps that process is what is so valuable, uniquely rewarding you in your own location. The re-release of this set of Eno’s four defining albums is always perfect timing. Options are a) Deluxe, limited edition 2 LP heavyweight vinyl, remastered at half-speed for 45 RPM. B) Standard 1 LP vinyl, remastered at normal speed for 33 RPM. But back to the music…

Music For Airports is one of my favourite albums period. It has been for a very long time now. I’m glad it’s hard to capture the words to describe the heightened emotions it produces but perhaps try picturing, Eno ‘spending several hours waiting at Cologne Bonn Airport, becoming annoyed by the uninspired sound and the atmosphere it created’. And then witness the creating of his own soundtrack to accompany an alternative airport experience. In retrospect it is also slightly bizarre that this album was originally released in 1978 at the height of the pointed, angry energy of almost everything else that surrounded it. That’s equally, uniquely Brian Eno, who incidentally produced some of those very bands too: Devo, Ultravox etc. Each of the other albums holds a special significance numbering: Discreet Music (1975), Music For Films (1976), and finally On Land (1982). I have purposefully avoided the word Ambient here because that may colour your idea of what might happen next. When what might actually happen is that your brain might explode into a sea of thought, pulsing with sound and motion. Listen.

Release: November 16



Brian Eno – Music For Installations – UMC

When you activate Play it could mean any number of things when it comes to hearing Brian Eno. Gathered from this his more reflective palate, collating pieces from installations between 1986 to the present day, here it is about the sense of movement. Of time not standing perfectly still as seemingly familiar patterns of sound sheer off, dissipate and disperse in different directions. Yet the upmost important factor is always the most constant one. And that is the emotional resonance emanating from the music itself. And it is always about the music in and of itself. It is also about uncertainty. About human existence. When time comes back into play it does so fused with a gentle nostalgia for memory, yet this music is neither a nostalgic cash-in, nor reviving. It simply is. Beautiful, though-provoking, wondrous paths of exploration that may lead nowhere as they do somewhere. Music For Installations is what you want it to be. You feed your own experience into its formless constructs and the resulting emotions are probably unique to the individual listener. Or, perhaps it just feels that way. Spread across 6 CD’s (or slabs of vinyl) which total as 5:25:02 (plus accompanying book etc) the release seems very much like an occasion to be cherished and remembered. Almost ghost like. Although, devastatingly tuned into mind and body. After all it is easy to say that Eno is our most important composer for decades: future and/ or past.

Or: “If you think of music as a moving, changing form, and painting as a still form, what I’m trying to do is make very still music and paintings that move. I’m trying to find in both of those forms, the space in between the traditional concept of music and the traditional concept of painting.” Brian Eno

Release: May 4

CD Box Set:
Vinyl Box Set:
Super Deluxe Edition: