Boomkat Product Review:
Marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Brian Eno’s classic ambient excursion with his brother Roger, and studio whizkind, Daniel Lanois, re-enters the vinyl orbit for the first time since 1983, bolstered with booster pack of previously unreleased material.
Conceived as a soundtrack to Al Reinert’s 1983 documentary, ‘For All Mankind’, the wide-eyed wonder of ‘Apollo’ has taken on a life of its own as one of Eno's best loved and most influential ambient trips, especially for the divine choral of ‘An Ending (Ascent)’ which also made its way onto movie and doco soundtracks (28 Days Later, Traffic, Trainspotting) and was sampled by Burial in ‘Forgive’. Out of print for too long, the original LP is now remastered for this edition and extended with a new re-do of the soundtrack by Eno and his original co-pilots
Frankly worth it for ‘An Ending (Ascent)’ alone, ‘Apollo’ is also flush with key ambient themes that would strongly influence its antecedents, and it’s not hard to hear how its dusty, sanguine country themes would influence The Orb or the likes of Calexico and a thousand other starry-eyed wanderers in the ‘90s. Eno would go on to state that he was influenced by country music as a child, received from an Armed Forces radio station in Woodbridge, was used to “give the impression of weightless space”, and while it’s maybe not the first thing it connotes for us, Eno’s use here has made floating country & western guitars a key part of the classic ambient music makeup.
So to the bonus disc, a “reimagining” of the original Apollo soundtrack that sees the Eno’s and Lanois reprise that gently awe-struck feeling of watching Apollo 11 land on the moon. It starts off with the super slowed weightless smudge of ‘The End of a Thin Line’ along with the elegant deep space waltzer ‘At The Foot of a Ladder’, and future classic material in the tremulous beauty of ‘Under The Moon.’