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  • Michael Engebrecht wrote on December 06, 2012 report

    Hi, Johnny Boy! Dream Logic is the appearance of one of the most Eno-esque albums in the history of ECM records, even more enoesque than the Eno/Lanois produced “Power Spot” by Jon Hassell, extremely eclectic, highly original at the same time, with stark echoes of a buried treasure called “Hybrid” by Michael Brook, and other spirits floating around the deserted coastal areas behind Kristiansand where time stands still and Peter Green is dreaming of an albatros (this was a small excursion into psychogeography:)) .

    After returning from Kristiansand and sitting in the car on my way to the Deutschlandfunk for my night show, I immediately put DREAM LOGIC in my cd-player.  Surely  my favourite Eivind album. A perfect balance of moody and abstract textures, full of twists and strange sounds that are the ice on the cake and prevent nostalgia from taking control. Great, too, for driving by night! 

    By the way, one of your jazz writers was quite enhusiastic about the duo album by Wadada Leo Smith and Louis Moholo-Moholo, ANCESTORS. Another revelation!

  • John Kelman wrote on December 06, 2012 report

    On this we agree, Michael. And while I didn't review it (we had enough), the Wadada/Louis is wonderful. Right now just trying to catch up on a bunch of things before year's end so I can include some in my best of list (which is late this year because too many things have stopped me from reviewing some stuff and if I don't review it I don't include it). But Eivind's record, as well as Stian's AND Stian's and Sidsel's are certainly up there on the list of potentials.

    Be well,
    PS: And don't call me Johnny, Mikey :)

  • Michael Engebrecht wrote on December 07, 2012 report

    Does it not sound friendly? Okay, I skip Johnny, although i can live with Mickey. And I will never call you Perry Como either, promise!

    Serious matter: it' s a shame Michael Brook's best album, Hybrid,has never been re-released. The one made in Ontario, with Brian Eno and Danny Boy, em, Daniel Lanois....

  • Michael Engebrecht wrote on December 07, 2012 report

    for ECM-afficionados: the ten most Eno-esque albums of ECM, with a short introduction (source: blog

    “Enoesque” doesn’t necessarily mean, that the artists do know Eno’s music very well, some do, some don’t. The word means that a certain record contains, consciously, unconsciously, or even by pure chance, elements that can be perceived as, well, Eno-related, in an obvious or hidden way. Strangeness is a rare thing. And, for sure, sometimes critics use the term for music they don’t understand at all :)
    The word has become another word for “weird”, “exotic”, “melodic with a strange twist”, “minimal, but with emotional impact”, “uncommon”. And, yes, quite often, the word is linked to compositions of artists who may even have no idea who Eno really is, maybe, because they are too young, or too old, or simply not interested. So, read this with a smile, but be sure, some of these artists know his Ambient Music rather well, believe me! And that leaves traces. Moments. Ideas. Sounds. Sometimes sounds on the verge of falling apart. And sometimes, yeah, sometimes, nothing at all.
    1) Eivind Aarset w/ Jan Bang: Dream Logic
    Eclecticism can be so inventive. Music to get lost in. Brian’s defintion of “Where am I-music” fully realized. And a brilliant extension of a lost classic of Ambient Music, Michael Brook’s “Infinite guitar”-playing on “Hybrid”. That milestone once was created in the famous Grant Avenue Studios in Hamilton, Ontario. The producers: Brian and Daniel. The golden years. And now this: “Dream Logic” is the kind of album critics will attest an “almost hallucinatoric” quality – and they are right! One of the best albums of 2012 recurring on traditions where many others only offer cheap pastiche!
    2) Jon Hassell: Power Spot
    The only ECM opus with the direct involvement of Brian Eno, Eno/Lanois create another masterpiece! Dreamscapes made of electronica, minimalism, Asian and African influences.
    3) David Darling: Cello
    I knew Brian would love this solo-cello work, when I send it to him in the  early Nineties. Slow Music with cellos overlapping and delayed sounds. Drifting  in circles – and moving skywards!

    4) Steve Tibbetts – Marc Anderson: Northern Song
    Produced by ECM – mastermind Manfred Eicher within two days in Oslo. Guitar and percussion and a lot of silences that never sound sacred  - but always arresting! Tibbetts’ fear: not enough notes. But then he remembered the  passion with which he has listened to Eno’s “Music for  Airports” – and knew everything was okay!
    5) Eleni Karainrou: Music for Films
    Manfred Eicher chose the title as hommage to Eno’s “Music For Films”. When hearing the record, Eno fell in love with the textures, the melodies, the recurrimg themes.
    6) Jon Hassell: Last Night The Moon Came …
    Okay, Eno’s old friend again, this  time without Brian. But with Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang among others. See: number one! Amazing and endlessly subtle. Will not be continued, the Norwegian connection. Sad ending. Pasttime paradise. 
    7) Arvo Pärt: Alina
    Pärt at his most minimal, and that is to say something. Compare the spacious piano notes of these pieces that can easily be linked to his “tintinnabuli” style, with those piano and keyboard figures Robert Wyatt plays on “Music for Airports”, or Roger Eno plays on “Thursday Afternoon”. ”Alina” is sparse, and some would even say simple, but it’s personal and human and at times nearly devastating.
    8) Hans Otte: Buch der Klänge
    The German composer of new classical piano music was tired of the loss of deep feeling in his scene. He changed that by creating this simple and profound music. Beautiful in a never-ending way!
    9) Bill Connors: Swimming With A Hole In My Body
    Lost gem of the late Seventies, solo guitar album with lots of space, and sounds floating; even the title and the cover are enoesque; Bill Connors was obviously tired of further following scientologist Chick Corea to the Seventh Galaxy!
    10) Terje Rypdal: After The Rain
    Very quiet solo work by Terje Rypdal. The guitarist even plays instruments he can not play very well – sounds like he used some “oblique strategies” from  Brian’s game: “Honour thy errors as hidden intentions”.
    P.S.: It may not be fair to call Heiner Goebbels’ album “SHADOW / Landscape With Argonauts” enoesque in the first place (for that you should listen to “Stifter’s Dinge”), but it was probably the ECM album that had the biggest influence on Brian Eno himself, concerning the way Goebbels uses 100 voices from the streets of Boston to make the reading of the dark prose of E. A. Poe a new and thrilling experience. So there are, without doubt, connections between “SHADOW” and Eno’s exquisite work “Drums Between The Bells” (2011)

    Best wishes, Michael

  • John Kelman wrote on December 07, 2012 report

    I was kidding Michael :)

    As for Brooks? I agree...and fyi, I actually recorded at Grant Ave...but before Eno went there. Daniel would not remember me, of course (it was just another of those sessions that came and went in studios like that back in the days when studios in places like Hamilton, ON were actually viable) but I can truthfully say I knew him when ... :)

  • Michael Engebrecht wrote on December 08, 2012 report

    So,you have been in the legendary Grant Avenue Studios, in those days when it was a place for the local scene, and not yet the power spot for some classics like The Plateaux of Mirror, The Pearl, Hybrid or Apollo...I remember you told me about these early days in Kristiansand. You must have looked like a long haired hippy with a big beard and a Grateful Dead TShirt:) Daniel Lanois remembered this era of early studio work in his autobiography...

    Now, what now comes is not off topic as one might think at first. You know this game: someone who likes DREAM LOGIC, might also like..... And in this case I'm telling you something about the last masterpiece of 2012 (from my point of view), and definitely a record that will get a warm apllause from our Norwegian friends:) - and, John, the secret center of this five star album is, again, Canada, a secret cultural hot spot in the streets of Toronto.

    Has there ever been a book that tells us about the history of broken harmoniums? John, you know one? Once upon a time, Simon Jeffes, the late mastermind of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, found one on the streets of Osaka, and he composed his “Music for a Found Harmonium”. Later, Sigbjorn Apeland released a beautiful harmonium solo album, called “Glossolalia” (on Hubro). With a lot of broken sounds, really, and noises that make you think, sometimes, of vintage synthesizers. Then there is the unique music of Germany’s “Kammerflimmer Kollektief” who also make a subtle use of this ancient instrument. I don’t know how broken their harmonium is, sometimes you can hear a deep, deep breath coming from its lungs. And now, on the small Canadian label called Komino Records, one of the most haunting records ever made with the living and dying sounds of an old harmonium, is available, 500 vinyl albums and digital download. Chris Dooks & Machinefabriek: The Eskdalemuir Harmonium. I was simply stunned when I listened to it, for the first time, in the wee hours of the morning. Then, with kind permission of the label owner Alex, I started a big mail-out and sent the music to Jan Bang, Erik Honore, Eivind Aarset, Guy Sigsworth, Lilly Baldwin, Ian McCartney, Henning Bolte, Thomas Weber, Jenny Hval and Brian Eno. I emailed Brian that, if he wouldn’t fall in love with this album, it might be time to retire for me:) So, maybe, there is someone out there in the hinterland of Canada, in the western parts of Scotland, or deep down in Texas who will, one day, write the book and tell all the stories about broken harmoniums.

  • John Kelman wrote on December 10, 2012 report

    Close, Michael - long hair? Well, shorter than it was when I was on the road with a band from '74-'76; but still pretty long :)

    No beard, and no GD shirt though - at the time I was, after being a confirmed prog rocker, digging deeply into more roots music and folk traditions like Ry Cooder and Richard Thompson, peppered with plenty of jazz and a pretty strong taste of soul/R&B music.

    Thanks for the rec on the harmonium; am familiar with most (but not all) of what you cite, certainly Apeland; I feel badly that I didn't review his Hubro disc, but you know how things have been for me the last couple years, writing-wise. Hopefully I'll be able to get back to more writing in the new year.

    And on that front; Happy Holidays and best wishes for a Happy New Year, Michael; meet you at our usual destination next August/September, if not sooner.. :)


  • Michael Engebrecht wrote on December 10, 2012 report

    The same to you.
    Take care.