Brian Eno’s Small Craft on a Milk Sea comes ashore in the US today on Warp Records, produced with collaborators Jon Hopkins (whom I recently interviewed and covered live) and Leo Abrahams (a wonderful and dexterous composer and musician himself).
You can hear the full album on Grooveshark. Update: The Grooveshark available was apparently premature, pending an exclusive release deal. It should become available again, but in the meantime, Warp has put several tracks up on Soundcloud:
A name like Eno’s tends to precede itself, but I quite honestly think, his fame aside, it’s a masterpiece. The collaboration of the three artists seems utterly clear and harmonious. Some of Eno’s own best ambient and experimental tendencies, from the artist who helped define those categories, float back to the surface here. But they’re partly reflected anew in these other artists. The ease with which the trio fuse their sounds is little wonder: these two gentlemen have been ongoing collaborators with Eno, working extensively on fine details of various productions and playing live with him onstage. They seem to achieved a creative mind meld.
The result is something that returns to that tradition, but finds continuity between the old and new, a common voice that can begin to escape the burden of time and trend. It is often unabashedly simple and, in the words of The Great Pumpkin, full of sincerity. It’s the original soundtrack score to something you haven’t imagined yet. And it’s just sonically wonderful, even in the lower-fidelity stream, warm and clear, evoking deep colors. It’s something you might like to bring along with you for the winter of 2010-11.
But, anyway, through the magic of the Internet, you don’t have to take anyone’s hollow words; you can give it a listen and disagree violently, immediately, if you like.
For myself, I’m off to purchase it as a physical album, to listen repeatedly in its entirety, in defiance of what supposedly happens these days in music listening trends.
Release news via Flavorwire, who point to still more reading.