While Brian Eno's solo music in the '70s--arguably the decade's greatest musical achievement--deftly combined the innovative sonics of the ambient and experimental communities with his own hummable pop sensibilities, he kept a steady stream of collaborators to prune each side of this dichotomy. CLUSTER & ENO--his collaboration with German ambient pioneers Cluster--acts as the foil for his more pop-oriented work with the likes of David Bowie and Roxy Music, as the duo pushed him further into the exhilaration of pure sound divorced from pop structures. The collaboration worked both ways, however, as Eno's song sense keeps the layers perpetually shifting and changing, and pushed Cluster to give more shape to their deep space clatter. The entirely instrumental song cycle throbs and whirrs meditatively and at times--on tracks such as "Ho Renomo," "Steinsame," and "Fur Luise"--has the feel of Eastern raga. "Wehrmut," "Mit Simaen," and "Selange" integrate traditional-sounding piano melody into the synthesizer expanses, while "Die Bunge" has an almost comical rhythmic lope. Both of these acts understood that the future belonged to technology, but that at the core of this technological music was an organic, human pulse. CLUSTER & ENO is a beautiful depiction of this concept and a veritable ambient classic.
Spin (p.82) - "CLUSTER & ENO is sublimely beautiful and of a piece..."
Magnet (p.90) - "There's a lot of space within these perfectly simple, placidly rhythmic compositions; each instrument's part turns around the others like an elegant little machine...
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