Artist: Brian Eno
Album: Reflection

Released: 1 January 2017
Label: Warp

Reflection Brian Eno
Brian Eno is a transcendent figure across music, art and media. Following a creative philosophy which dates back to his first album of "Ambient Music" (with guitarist Robert Fripp) called No Pussyfooting (1973), Eno continues to compose for the future he hopes to live in. Reflection (54'01") seems another iteration of the early LPs with Fripp, as well as the generative work realized for Thursday Afternoon (1985), Neroli (1993) and Lux (2012). Even though Reflection is process music (music made by software), it is the expression of an individual, and not that of a hive mind or collective consciousness. Once you adjust your ears to the minimalist arrangement, it may trigger cognitive processes. The one continuous track drifts along impressionistically - gently expanding and contracting according to its own internal rhythm. Unlike a book, or other media, this album will still serve us even when we are not actively paying attention to it. A simple arrangement of a reverberant electric piano and xylophone patches, sustaining drones and synthesized textures, Reflection produces no tension, no release, has no apparent arc, just plenty of space in which we may dwell. Certain sounds present in a sustaining echo, while we feel others rise as a supporting foundation. For some contrast, Eno has programmed in periodic chord changes - each causing the notes, tones and chords to bestow a contrasting sentimental cast. At its very least, this album provides a pleasantly colored background to use while being otherwise engaged, or perhaps something to play softly while asleep. At its most it is a thought inducing strike against narrow-mindedness, as it is simply asking us to please think for ourselves. Engaging our capacity for empathy by engaging our imagination, Eno's music introduces us to new perspectives. Listening is one of the few things we do alone, which can make us feel less alone. It is a solitary activity that can create an intimacy between the listener and the artist - and is uniquely suited to help us change our relationship with the rhythms and habits of daily life in this world of endless connectivity.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   29 December 2016

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