Boomkat Product Review:
What's this - Brian Eno making dubstep and techno?!! OK, it's only a clutch of tracks hat could possibly be described as such, but believe us when we say that Drums Between Bells, Eno's new album on Warp Records, is a significant departure from last year's Small Craft On A Milk Sea. The project has its origins back in the 90s, when Eno first collaborated with Rick Holland. Back then the collab came to nothing in terms of released material, but the duo resolved to work together again, and Drums Between Bells is the result of their renewed partnership. It's a tribute to the hustle and bustle of city life, particularly London and Sao Paulo, and it positively teems with life, foregrounding the spoken word: not just from Eno and Holland, but also Grazyna Goworek, Caroline Wildi, Laura Spagnuolo, Elisha Muly Aulie Cooke, Nick Robertson and Anastasia Afonina. After the unlikely dancefloor (well, sort of) dread of the first two tracks, the central passage of the album relaxes into the kind of lush, luminous ambient which Eno does best, ranging from the breezy pastoral sway of 'Pour It Out' to more aching, ominous pieces like 'The Airman' and 'The Real', which hark back to the earthen drones of Eno's On Land and the bright, aquatic piano cycles of his work with Harold Budd. We're back to ethno-futurist paranoia for 'Sounds Alien' and 'Dow', but if truth be told these numbers are rather unconvincing. We go out on a high with 'Cloud 4', a serene, sleepily sung number which wouldn't have sounded massively out of place on Taking Tiger Mountain.