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Ambient 4:On Land Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, October 5, 2004
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Ambient 4:On Land + Ambient 2:Plateaux Of Mirror + Ambient 3: Day of Radiance
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The transfer from the Original Masters has been undertaken with great care by Simon Heyworth. All four albums have been Mastered using 'Class A' Analogue Electronics combined with the best Analogue to Digital conversion. No attempt has been made to re-equalize, remix or in any way tamper with or alter the original EQ'ed analogue production masters. These are the Original Masters as Brian Eno intended them to be heard.

Released in 1982, On Land is Eno's most mature, perfect ambient work. Combining low, rumbling synths with eerie banging and clanking and the occasional wild-animal chirp or grumble, this recording places the listener alone, in the midst of a massive piece of sonic landscaping. And Eno has left no detail to chance. In fact, the work is so complete that when Eno suggests a windswept plain, the listener gets a chill. When trumpeter Jon Hassell bays with a softly disturbing imitation of a wounded beast, the first instinct is to scan the horizon for its glinting eyes. So subtle, intuitive, and well paced is this recording that as it slips quietly from the speakers and into every corner of the listening room, it transforms the space into a gently pulsing sound environment that seems strangely out of time and away from everything. It's a place you'll be drawn to time and time again. An ageless masterwork. --S. Duda

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Lizard Point (2004 Digital Remaster) 4:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. The Lost Day (2004 Digital Remaster) 9:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Tal Coat (2004 Digital Remaster) 5:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Shadow (2004 Digital Remaster) 2:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Lantern Marsh (2004 Digital Remaster) 5:31$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. Unfamiliar Wind (Leeks Hills) (2004 Digital Remaster) 5:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. A Clearing (2004 Digital Remaster) 4:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Dunwich Beach, Autumn, 1960 (2004 Digital Remaster) 7:10$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 5, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Astralwerks
  • ASIN: B0002PZVHK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,849 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By spiral_mind on December 11, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Imagine sitting on a beachside deck some warm evening with a microphone capturing all the noise of the environment: waves washing up, crickets chirping, gulls singing, the neighbors' barbecue maybe becoming audible when their talking gets loud enough. Maybe some kid is driving down the next block with his stereo rattling the pavement. Maybe somebody's dog is barking far enough away that if you weren't listening closely you wouldn't even notice it. On Land is an exploration of this kind of idea in sound, but intended to re-create places far away or only imagined. Sound strange? In the world of Brian Eno I'd expect nothing less.

This is essentially an album exploring the idea of music or sound that gives a feeling of a certain place. It also perfectly accomplishes his objective with ambient music, which is that it should be "as ignorable as it is interesting." Turn it up and it can bring all kinds of alien landscapes to life in your mind; turn it down and it colors the room subliminally, barely noticeably. Where the previous three in the Ambient series were subdued and trancelike through repetition, this one is evolving all the time and never repeats itself.

With that, On Land is also probably the hardest of all Eno discs to describe. It would be one thing if it was simply made with treated notes or tape loops, as with Discreet Music or the previous Ambient albums. It would be one thing if he was using minimal melodies meant to be ignored. On Land is all and none of those. It uses musical elements but isn't music; it's minimalist but not simple or repetitive. It's more pure atmosphere than anything with a recognizable form. If you're wondering what moods you may find here, just look at the titles. "Tal Coat" is somehow electronic-sounding but purely organic.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By DAC Crowell on April 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
When this came out, I was so used to "Discrete Music" and the previous "Music for Airports" that I had a goodly bit of trouble wrapping my head around this set of rumbly, dark, murky atmospherics. But over the years, I've come to have a special love for this release. This is not the Satie-like ambient of those other two works, but rather like a soundtrack recording for a very obscure, dark film in which most action (action?) is obscured or is occuring just off-lens. Swampy, midnight music. Whereas it's easy to describe some other Eno works, this thing, even some 20 or so years on, defies adequate description. Suffice to say, it's something worth having for most anyone, especially if you're someone who often finds yourself awake at 2-3 AM and have trouble finding music for just that 'certain atmosphere' for the time of day. A singular, beautiful, and intriguing release.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "katja_r" on September 30, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I enjoy the music of Mr Brian Eno on this CD immensely. "ON LAND" contains environmental music which invokes for me a wide range of emotions. THE LOST DAY is a brooding piece from which I experience remorse, sadness and dismay. The piece titled UNFAMILIAR WIND (LEEKS HILLS) draws me slowly into a palpable experience of walking into a marsh. These are mind-pictures of the experiences of remembering a place rather than picture postcards. A word of caution about the term "ambient". In 1982, when Mr Eno first released this album, there was no classification, or permit me to write, marketing term, for ambient cds. This cd has no similarity with what currently is classified as "ambient" music. I'm afraid someone anticipating "ambient" music within the current context will be as disappointed as one reviwer who wrote, "Brian Eno's 'ambient music' is certainly ambient ... but it's certainly not music ... I'll bet plants love it. As for me, I'm just going to let it lull me to sleep." In the liner notes, Mr Eno explains some of the thought processes utilised in creating this landmark piece. "From 'Another Green World' onwards I became interested in exaggerating and inventing rather than replicating spaces, experimenting in particular with various techniques of time distortion. This record represents one culmination of that development and in it the landscape has ceased to be a backdrop for something else to happen in front of: Instead, everything that happens is a part of the landscape. There is no longer a sharp distinction between foreground and background." His instrumentation includes electro-mechanical and acoustic instruments as well as non-instruments like pieces of chain and sticks and stones.Read more ›
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sean M. Kelly on September 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I'll have to admit the fact that when I first heard this lp, I didn't like it. It was too dark, brooding, and all together too weird for even my tastes. I was in love with "Music for Airports," and "Apollo," and was looking for the same kinds of atmospherics and simplicity that these 2 lps created.
It's been 13 years after the fact, and 1000's of plays later, on lps, tapes, and now cd, and I cam never get enough of this lp. The atmospherics are beyond ecstacy, and while the mood is dense and dark, it is Eno's crowning achievement, and moreover helped me create my current home sound system, when,b after reading an article by Eno about how he would play the lp, I played this lp with 2 pair of speakers as opposed to one and with a cheap 4 channel mixer I owned for club djing I was doing. The results were earth shattering to me. The whole world opened up. I played the lp at dusk, and the crickets outside by patio door chimed in harmony to it. My neighbors would walk by and marvel at how nature sounded better at my place, and I grinned, never telling them why that was.
This lp has absolute sacred value to me, and I play it every evening before I retire for the night, and I sleep well. It is best listened to with excellent pairs of speakers that allow you to get surround sound, then to set levels to allow the bass to work on its own against Eno's use of prepared soundscapes and his electronics. This is your excuse to get more speakers!
The lp is so good that I implore everyone to get it. Your life will be more enriched by it.
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