Brian Eno`s ‘Small Craft On A Milk Sea’-A Welcome Return To Ambient Music

December 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Music, Top Story

Small Craft On A Milk Sea is Brian Eno`s first project on his new label, Warp Records. Brian collaborates with Jon Hopkins, who plays piano, keyboards and electronics, and with Leo Abrahams, who plays guitar, laptop and guitaret. The credits say that Brian commandeers the computers, which may mean he does a little bit of everything. I absolutely adore this record, since it reminds me of the old days in the late 1970s, when we got the brilliant Music For Films and Music For Airports. These are my favorite Eno, even more so than the pop stuff.

I still play both of those records all the time, since they provide fantastic background music to fuel efforts for writing and typing out a few vapors of thought on a blank white computer slab. Oddly enough, I`m freed of writer`s block whenever I have some of Brian`s ambient music on my stereo. Small Craft is the latest addition to my collection of Eno soundscapes, that stimulate your imagination in different ways every time you listen. But one consistency with Small Craft is the recurring theme of extraterrestrial phantasms preoccupy one`s living space!

This one makes me feel as if I`ve returned to Roswell, New Mexico and I`m wandering around the exhibits at the UFO Museum on the drag. I took a vacation through that spooky town in about 1999 and I recall the museum was located in what looked like an old, abandoned movie house. Saw some tiny green men lying dead in the pastures the first time I put Small Craft on my stereo. Or Klaatu comes to mind from The Day The Earth Stood Still, commanding us humans to get our act together.

I pulled out my Rough Guide To Sci-Fi Movies a few minutes back to search for good titles to watch with the soundtrack down, and Brian Eno way up. Okay, I`ll stop acting stupid, but this can easily be described as a UFO type of music to me. While most of these tracks are baffling to me, so far, one thing I`ve noticed is the tracks shuffle back and forth from passive, tranquil affairs, over to tense, combustible mood pieces. This alternating yin/yang diversity is pleasing to our natures. And I love the futuristic artwork too, done by Nick Robertson.

Let`s see, I better reflect some more on these tracks, maybe I missed something, maybe I missed the point entirely, you never know. But if I listen to this several more times tonight, I may just have my own Roswell experience under the sheets this Christmas night. Won`t you join me in a Flying Saucer Soiree this Xmas Eve? *(Thorough, positive review on Pop Matters.)

What Is Evermore The Nifftiest Haunted House Or Place On Our Planet?

October 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Music

Wanderers in that happy valley, Through two luminous windows saw, Spirits moving musically, To a lute`s well-tuned law; Round about a throne, where sitting (Porphyrogene!), In state his glory well befitting, The ruler of the realm was seen. The Fall of the House of Usher-Edgar Allan Poepirate dummy

haunted_houseI did a reading of that treasured story Monday eve, and it got me thinking about the many haunted abodes that populate our landscape. I found this Time article that features the Top Ten Haunted Places. This would include domiciles and even prisons from all over the globe. I`ll list them for you, but I trust you will take a weary drudge through these harrowing catacombs for particulars of these most spooky edifices.

1. The Amityville House 2. Eastern State Penitentiary 3. Edinburgh Castle 4. Gettysburg Battlefield 5. The Myrtles Plantation 6. The Queen Mary 7. The Tower of London 8. The Whaley House 9. The White House 10. The Winchester House.

As you fit your spook house for maximum boo-i-ness, you might want to pick up some sound effects CDs. I have Volume 4, recorded by James Christopher, on Electra. (Authentic Sound Effects). With grunts, guffaws, burps, screams, yawns, sneezing…you can`t lose! Also, for atmospheric, new age spookiness, I recommend Brian Eno`s Ambient 2-The Plateaux of Mirror, with Harold Budd. You`ll feel like you are in a Barbara Steele flick!