Roger Eno

The Flatlands

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He probably hates it when people say this, but Roger Eno's compositions do often sound an awful lot like those of his brother Brian -- though it must be said that Roger is by far the more sophisticated musician and composer. On The Flatlands, the more obvious influence is actually fellow chamber experimentalist Harold Budd. What with the sweet, poignant string writing and the unobstrusive piano arpeggios, there's a deep wistfulness about this music that seems to evoke another time and place. The 18 tracks on this album aren't all the same, but they do tend to dissolve into each other while you listen; the effect is of very high-quality ambient music, the kind that you can either leave on at low volume for the atmosphere or turn up for careful listening. Among the more interesting tracks are "Elevation" (which, with its combination of urgency and harmonic stasis, sounds a lot like the music of Arvo Part) and the strange and lovely "Palimpsest." Highly recommended.

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