Soundtracking stellar deeps has become one of electronica's most overworked cliches, but in the easy intimacy audible in this encounter, these Ambienaut vets make it sound like a piece of cake. [#247, p.59]
Positive: 3 out of 3
Mixed: 0 out of 3
Negative: 0 out of 3
BJMasonSep 12, 2004an outstanding and beautiful work that engages you from deep in your soul.
May 19, 2011Stellar Tones from the Main Sequence.
Eno - Talking Heads - U2. Composer, producer and 'reluctant' musician. Collaboration with Fripp dates to the early 1970s. Although there have been interesting or dismissive reviews (refer: Stylus, ground and sky, pitchfork) and the suggestion that Eno isn't enthused with digital technology as a medium of expression, I believe this album could represent a true beginning for the pair or perhaps their main sequence; a hard-won reconciliation in an intellectual and artisically mature creation for these world encompassing souls - equatorial stars - themselves. I say this because I have little affection for their early work, with the exception of Eno's masterpiece APOLLO soundtrack (1983) . I feel pure electro or electro-acoustic music did not rise from the primordial sludge until Jean Michel Jarre gave it wings in 1976. With The Equatorial Stars one has to speculate if the pair had based elements of these compositions on the astrophysical properties of the stellar bodies so named. Only five of the seven titles refer to individual stars, two are constellations, therefore the album title is thematic - not literal, and plural not singular. This leads to the idea of the binary and more importantly a reference to the relationship between Eno and Fripp, as artists and friends.
Track 1 - Meissa. A binary system. The companion is fainter. The composition implies a disorder of sorts in the system; a happy one...if you get the drift - off axis - weaving, waver...ing. Not a 'tea- toter' evidently, Lambda Orionis (Meissa, in Ara..Arabic...hic!).
Track 2 - Lyra. Constellation populated with binaries or multiples. Feathering, with an immaculate cresendo that defies description.
Track 3 - Tarazed. Star. Gamma Aquilae. Constellation of Aquilla. 'A terse plaintive melody played recurrently by Fripp against the humongous space of Eno'.
Track 4 - Lupus. Constellation. Many binaries - a carnival.
Track 5 - Ankaa. Alpha Phoenicis. (Whose entry in Wikipedia reads like a police record...). Ankaa has a small companion (...no matching description). Ankaa is, however, an 'old smoker' - heavy, leaden and due to die.
Track 6 - Altair. Star. Constellation of Aquila, 'a funky guitar rhythm that chops along'. Altair does 'chop along'. Young, fast and oblate it completes a full rotation within ten hours - (regardless, it is one of the few stars for which a direct image of the surface has been obtained).
Track 7 - Terebellum. Star (Omega). Constellation in Sagittarius. Part of a quadrilateral of stars, not bound, but not too dissimilar to our Sun. The core of the Galaxy is behind this region. Back to Earth.
Why do I rate this work 'ten stars', despite what might be seen as faults? I've been an amateur astronomer and with the lights off - or our local star beaming through your window (browsing through a book like COSMOS by Loralee Nolletti and Michael Soluri), The Equatorial Stars has accomplished what only the best of this form can - taken your mind there.
Andrew Mackenna, Christchurch, NZ 5/11… Expand
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