Artist: Fripp & Eno
Album: The Equatorial Stars

Released: Summer 2004
Label: Opal

The Equatorial Stars
Dedicated fans of Fripp & Eno will no doubt be looking for similarities between the duo's two previous (and profoundly influential) releases No Pussyfooting (1973) and Evening Star (1975), and The Equatorial Stars (48'00"), their nearly 20 years later follow-up. The biggest difference between the generations is economical. On earlier works, such as "The Heavenly Music Corporation", "Swastika Girls" and "An Index of Metals", Fripp & Eno used texture and melody to realize their sprawling album sidelong compositions. Their more recent album is more conservative with respect to track length. Containing seven less than ten minute pieces, The Equatorial Stars utilizes the same basic concept perfected on their previous works (emotionally charged liquid lead guitar tones snaking over rolling ambient loops and washes), but in the bare minimum of time. The album contains music that is less composition than artifact of the infinite permutations associated with this method of design. Although high-concept in its origins, The Equatorial Stars is saved from exceeding the grasp of its listeners by the warm, consonant and utterly engaging melodies produced by guitarist Robert Fripp. This album is a wonderful example of inward turning slow-music, but it's greatest success is in revealing the human side of these two iconic figures of the Ambient Music genre.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   19 May 2005

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