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Brian Eno
Discreet Music | 2018 Reissue | Half Speed Mastering

Virgin EMI Records

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A TAV Essential Listening Album.

“Recorded just a month after Another Green World, Discreet Music is his first full foray into what has become known as ambient music. Using the same system of two reel-to-reel tape recorders as No Pussyfooting and Evening Star, Eno was able to layer simple parts atop one another, resulting in a beautiful piece of music that never really changes but constantly evolves with the addition and decay of different parts. And while there were elements of noise and dissonance on the albums with Fripp, all the sounds here are calming and serene.

The second half of the album deals with the same ideas of recurring themes and evolution but uses a different approach. Here, members of the Cockpit Ensemble use pieces of the score of Pachelbel's Canon in D Major, but the relation of these elements changes over time by having the parts slow at differing intervals or using different lengths of the musical score. The same notions of theme and constant variation appear, but without the aid of the tape delay system. The tones of the strings are vastly different from the synth tones of the title track, but the effect on the listener is the same, with the pieces delicately unfolding over time. Discreet Music's reputation as a groundbreaking and influential work is surpassed only by its placid beauty. Highly recommended.” – All Music

The most direct outgrowth of Eno's epiphanal experience was the Discreet Music, released in the same year as his accident; indeed, he recommended that it be played over hospital speakers to create an environment soothing to patients (it has, in fact, become a popular piece for expecting mothers). The 30-minute title track is one of the most pure realizations of Eno's original vision, a gentle immersion in slow, warm waves of sound. It's intended to be played at low volumes "even to the extent that it frequently falls below the threshold of audibility." The piece is an analog version of several theories that Eno would explore fully through computer software in the 90s. It's based in a sort of musical systems theory-- self-organizing works in a free-roaming environment of musical parameters predetermined by the composer. Thus, the actual execution of the music requires "little to no intervention" on the musician's part. Such systems create pieces that could go on forever, static in terms of musical movement yet never repeating exactly. In this case, Eno hooked his synth up to a tape delay system that allowed two melodic lines to linger and evolve with minimal input on his behalf. The result remains one of the greatest single ambient pieces that Eno has produced. – Pitchfork

Item description:        


Brian Eno


Discreet Music


Virgin EMI Records


2 × Vinyl, LP, 45 RPM, Album, Reissue, Half Speed Mastering



Release Date:

This reissue: 16th November 2018 | Original: 1975




Experimental, Ambient

Catalog No: