May 2, 2011
Well, It’s Robert Fripp of the unmatchable (hopefully I’m wrong about that) King Crimson and Brian Eno of… Brian Eno. (I guess some might say formerly of Roxy Music… he also had a role as Talking Heads producer for a while, which resulted in the magnificent “Remain in Light”)
Regardless, when I first heard about this album I was reading the various lists of “best ambient” etc. (The 2001 Survey is very good, though) I was very excited. Then I heard it. And I was disappointed. It didn’t seem ambient at all! There was a guitar loop (the first instance of “Frippertronics” [It should be noted that the Korg Wavestation has a preset called “Frippatronix”)] of overdriven guitar that really left me wanting more of the “Discreet Music” of Eno. I thought “Well, it’s Fripp AND Eno, so it has to be good, but right now I’m not ready for this.”
Several months, maybe even a few years passed by.
One day I decide to play it again. It’s like a new drug! I get over the timbre and realize that it isn’t trying to be heavily reverbed ambient (after all it was 1974, Prog was King [Crimson]), it’s an experience to be taken on its own terms! For 19 or 20 minutes your ears are invited to work for “The Heavenly Music Corporation.” And it’s a job only a fool would turn down…
Fripp has this one solo around the 6 minute mark that isn’t to be missed.
Flip the record over, or skip several tracks on the CD (It’s been indexed so you can access your favorite moments) to Side 2: Swastika Girls. There’s a story behind the title which I won’t go into here, but regardless, it’s not like “The Heavenly Music Corporation” but more like “Evening Star” (Their next and last collaboration as “Fripp and Eno” of the ’70s”) I don’t find it as trance inducing as “The Heavenly Music Corporation”, but it’s still better than anything on the radio these days.
Well, almost anything.