Over the past few days I've been repeatedly listening to Brian and Roger Eno's new collaboration "Mixing Colours" - an ambient/tranquil album of 18 relatively short pieces (between 2 and a half and 5 minutes) that the two have apparently been working on for years via Roger sending MIDI files to Brian, initial ideas for that latter to experiment with and develop.

This is a great interview from NPR with the two of them in which they discuss the making of the record.

(You can also hear extracts from the full album at that link.)

The best way I can describe the album is part neo-classical, part soundscape, part lullaby and somewhat surprisingly, to me at least, it has received mixed reviews, from:

"This kaleidoscope of colors, minimalistic sounds, and levitating textures result in a kind of imaginative synaesthesia constituting a deep feeling of oneness"

to:

"there's simply not enough variety, curiosity or sense of adventure here to dub it as a must-listen"

"Elegant and haunting as the individual tracks may be, it's difficult to remain engaged throughout 75 minutes of music with such a uniform mood"

"The album is too inoffensive to leave much lasting impression"

Having long been a devotee of the elder Eno's work, and more recently his younger brother, I am deeply invested in the notion that ambient music "must be as ignorable as it is interesting" so the idea that the album doesn't engage the listener is bordering on anathema.

One of Roger's descriptions of the process that I found quite delightful was him saying he was producing black and white sketches which Brian would fill with colour.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.