“Another Green World”

Brian Eno dreaming

by Keith Purtell

Another Green World

Another Green World

With the opening chords of “Another Green World,” Englishman Brian Eno made a bold proposal to the listener; every preconception about music you have held should be set aside, and a new sound must be experienced entirely on its own merits. Anyone who has opened their heart and mind to this novel sonic adventure has been amply rewarded.

AGW is often odd but always potent. Its power lies in a heady mixture of implied imagery: gentle reverie on a summer afternoon, water scenes of a lagoon seen at night, the unearthly beauty of a permanently moonlit world. It is all the more remarkable that Eno was able to cultivate such exotica in the shade-tree calm of English domesticity.

Some instruments — bass, piano, drum, occasional voices — are individually recognizable, but the sonic whole merges into a heretofore unknown form. At other times, Eno uses Latin percussion that would have sounded hokey in anyone else’s hands. Here, it hypnotizes.

Brian Eno

Brian Eno

AGW doesn’t really sound like electronic music, at least not like electronic music attempted by most other musicians. Songs like “I’ll Come Running,” “Sombre Reptiles” and “Zawinul/Lava” often contain what seem like snippets of sound from an old science-fiction film, yet any humor is slyly woven into the remaining rather introspective effect. Eno’s domain is very impressionistic; the use of vibrato and reverb, the reedy textures, the lonely piano notes, all seem like intimate images.

AGW occupies a psychic niche where composition, arrangement and performance are seamlessly united. Marvelously evocative; it truly is another world. (Robert Fripp adds hauntingly beautiful guitar runs to several tracks, and Phil Collins is percussionist/drummer.)

Song samples:

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