4 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

1975’s Discreet Music forms a bridge between the peaceful instrumental passages that Brian Eno featured on Another Green World and the full-blown “ambient music” that he'd introduce on a series of albums in the following years. The 30-minute title song isn't so much performed as manifested. Two synthesizer phrases of differing lengths are repeated and treated, overlapping with each other in subtly unpredictable ways. The result is music that's more about mood, texture, and tone than melody, rhythm, and lyric. The album's second half employs a similar tactic with a different outcome. Eno gave a small string ensemble (conducted by Gavin Bryars) brief excerpts of a piece by 17th-century composer Johann Pachelbel; the musicians were instructed to repeat the passages several times, gradually adding adjustments in tempo and timbre. Though Discreet Music borrows heavily from the practices of such revered avant-garde musicians as John Cage, Terry Riley, and Steve Reich, Eno’s music is neither cold nor cerebral. This conceptual music resounds with rare emotion and warm majesty.

EDITORS’ NOTES

1975’s Discreet Music forms a bridge between the peaceful instrumental passages that Brian Eno featured on Another Green World and the full-blown “ambient music” that he'd introduce on a series of albums in the following years. The 30-minute title song isn't so much performed as manifested. Two synthesizer phrases of differing lengths are repeated and treated, overlapping with each other in subtly unpredictable ways. The result is music that's more about mood, texture, and tone than melody, rhythm, and lyric. The album's second half employs a similar tactic with a different outcome. Eno gave a small string ensemble (conducted by Gavin Bryars) brief excerpts of a piece by 17th-century composer Johann Pachelbel; the musicians were instructed to repeat the passages several times, gradually adding adjustments in tempo and timbre. Though Discreet Music borrows heavily from the practices of such revered avant-garde musicians as John Cage, Terry Riley, and Steve Reich, Eno’s music is neither cold nor cerebral. This conceptual music resounds with rare emotion and warm majesty.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

Raconteur ,

electronic inspiration

An early introduction into a style that would sweep the music scene into the present, Discreet Music advanced the notion of sound walls and sonic texture that groups like joy division, throbbing gristle, dead can dance, telepomusik, deep forest, cocteau twins and massive attack (to name a few) would refine into what is now modern electronica. Discreet Music, like other subsequent forays into ambient music by eno is sound stripped bare and may seem to the uninitiated as New Age, yoga-type music, but like other contemporary music — Reich, Cage, Glass, Sylvian — there is a depth to this music that becomes apparent after repeated listenings. At a time when experimental rock music was synonymous w/Prog Rock like Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, Triumvirate, V d Graf Generator & Gryphon, this is an enormous departure from that and Eno’s work with Roxy Music.

johnemr ,

This is classical music...

This record is equivalent to a Mozart, Satie, Bach, Cage, Cardew or Stockhausen recording. Everything after it is based on it..

whitefrozen ,

Classic

This is Classic Brian Eno. Great album!

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