16 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Brian Eno returns to the ambient music modes he helped pioneer over 30 years ago on Small Craft On a Milk Sea, a collaborative effort with composer Jon Hopkins and guitarist Leo Abrahams. Small Craft both reflects Eno's expanded sonic palette and harkens back to the thematic motifs he introduced in the ‘70s. These pieces — combining improvisation with computer editing — are by turns pastoral, ominous and exalted in tone. The spectral piano recital “Emerald and Stone” and the crystalline, disembodied “Lesser Heaven” renew Eno’s claim as a master of the ambient genre. On the opposite extreme lies the darkly oozing “Paleosonic” and the jittery, chattering “Horse.” As before, Eno achieve a particular grace at conjuring up soundscapes of cold, austere grandeur — “Calcium Needles” and the title number are among his best compositions along these lines. In recent interviews, Eno has indicated that these pieces are imagined sketches of pop music genres from the future. Small Craft On a Milk Sea meets this challenge with evocative grace and cool, lucid vision.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Brian Eno returns to the ambient music modes he helped pioneer over 30 years ago on Small Craft On a Milk Sea, a collaborative effort with composer Jon Hopkins and guitarist Leo Abrahams. Small Craft both reflects Eno's expanded sonic palette and harkens back to the thematic motifs he introduced in the ‘70s. These pieces — combining improvisation with computer editing — are by turns pastoral, ominous and exalted in tone. The spectral piano recital “Emerald and Stone” and the crystalline, disembodied “Lesser Heaven” renew Eno’s claim as a master of the ambient genre. On the opposite extreme lies the darkly oozing “Paleosonic” and the jittery, chattering “Horse.” As before, Eno achieve a particular grace at conjuring up soundscapes of cold, austere grandeur — “Calcium Needles” and the title number are among his best compositions along these lines. In recent interviews, Eno has indicated that these pieces are imagined sketches of pop music genres from the future. Small Craft On a Milk Sea meets this challenge with evocative grace and cool, lucid vision.

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