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Drawn from Life [Import]

Brian EnoAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, Import, 2001 --  
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Image of album by Brian Eno


Image of Brian Eno


“In the early seventies I found myself preferring film soundtracks to most other types of records. What drew me to them was their sensuality and unfinished-ness - in the absence of the film they invited you, the listener, to complete them in your mind. If you hadn't even seen the film, the music remained evocative - like the lingering perfume of somebody who's just left a room ... Read more in Amazon's Brian Eno Store

Visit Amazon's Brian Eno Store
for 109 albums, 7 photos, discussions, and more.

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Drawn from Life + Nerve Net
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 12, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Astralwerks
  • ASIN: B00005AKNC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,191 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. From This Moment
2. Persis
3. Like Pictures Part #1
4. Like Pictures Part #2
5. Night Traffic
6. Rising Dust
7. Intenser
8. More dust
9. Bloom
10. Two Voices
11. Bloom

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Picking up where such seminal Eno recordings as Music for Airports and Another Green World left off, the inveterate innovator-producer's first recording in four years is a surreal tableau of loping beats and eerie sounds enveloped in dark yet serene atmospherics. With German percussionist Schwalm contributing softly swinging drumming, Eno is free to dabble in sounds ranging from Middle Eastern string quartets to crying machines and Vocoders to happy, babbling babies. One of Life's many highlights is Laurie Anderson's cameo on "Like Pictures Part #2," as she enunciates her words above the song's spooky, soothing ambiance. "Bloom" contrasts happy baby chatter against distorted heartbeats and sinister samples; "Night Traffic" paints an empty urban center at dusk with shifting shapes and '70s jazz percussion and piano. Throughout Drawn from Life, Eno and Schwalm cast a spell of spectral dislocation and foreboding. It's like what dying prostrate in the snow must be like--slow, sleepy, beautiful, and chilling. --Ken Micallef

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eno takes us outside the box once again. June 23, 2001
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
First things first: this is not an "ambient" CD. As Brian Eno himself might say, it's "too busy." At the same time, *Drawn From Life* is as different from all other Eno projects as 1997's *The Drop* was from its predecessors. Eno keeps moving forward, trying new things, and working with the previously almost unknown J. Peter Schwalm is undoubtedly part of that. The result is a something more fluid and organic sounding than *The Drop*. While the mood on certain tracks may recall that of the Jah Wobble collaboration *Spinner*, this CD is warmer and more accessible than that was. I found myself thinking more of Patrick O'Hearn's vision-inducing sound paintings for Peter Baumann's Private Music label, especially *Ancient Dreams* and *Indigo*. There is, however, more musical diversity here than on those, as evidenced by the guest cast: Laurie Anderson (vocals on "Like Pictures II"), Holger Czukay (ex-Can), Nell Catchpole (strings throughout, and some vocals), Leo Abrahams (guitar), etc.
Of course, there are plenty of indications that we are listening to an Eno project: the non-unison handclaps on "Like Pictures II" (probably the clappers were only given instructions but couldn't see or hear one another), the medley of guitar and voice on "Rising Dust," the found voices (of Eno's two daughters Iriel and Darla) and sounds of kitchen activity on "Bloom," and those two mysterious stretches of silence after this track and the follow-up "Two Voices." I suspect that while you are listening intently to find out if something is going on at very low volume and you pay attention to what you are doing, you will discover that you are hearing everything in your surroundings more intensely (intenser?
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Most of the Ambient King's music in recent years has been for art installations, and only released in limited quantities. I'm pleased to have a regular "album" to listen to by Eno, and even more pleased it turned out so well. He has collaborated before with Peter Schwalm (on the Japanese "Music For On Myo Ji" release), and Drawn From Life follows along similar lines of the pair's previous work together. On the new songs, the atmospheres they created are magnificently resonant and evocative (sorry for the critic word), moving from rather abstract themes to more direct and personal melodies. With the exception of spoken word participation (Laurie Anderson on "Like Pictures 2," Nell Catchpole on "Intenser") and a vocorder on "Rising Dust," voices play a background role. These are mostly instrumentals, using the familiar synth/keyboard settings Mr. Eno is known for, but also mixing in very tasteful strings and percussion. The overall feeling is like the soundtrack for some Far Eastern documentary about architecture or industry, with a hint of mystery and intrigue thrown in. Perfect for late night contemplative listening.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (With)drawn from life.. cold, numb, yet organic. June 21, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I say 'cold' because that's the impression I get from Eno's work throughout this masterful recording; it starts with the chilly haze of "From This Moment" and though numerous sounds and tones are used, the overall impression doesn't fade. I have to say that an equal collaboration was the best idea for this album. Brian's work alone here would have ended up as Ambient 5: Frozen in Ice. Schwalm's light fleeting percussion, however, lends a wealth of shapes and textures to the music, giving it an organic edge and a pulse.
While this album is still quiet enough to serve as background wallpaper for reading or working, it's just busy enough to keep your attention if you sit down with a good pair of headphones. It's like a dream of floating in an endless white cloud while various images and sounds come into focus, clear for a moment, then vanish. City streets, Laurie Anderson talking about pictures, kitchen dishes clinking, swirling snow, and the occasional lapse of silence. Eno and Schwalm use no real melodies and only random fragmented words, but nevertheless draw the listener into their own web as convincingly as any fine lyricist I could name.
I just looked over those previous comments and realized they sound a little ridiculous - fanciful, maybe. That's the effect this album has. It's calming, subtle and tends to stimulate the imagination. It doesn't merely blend with the room or the background as most of Eno's other work does, but blends with your own thoughts as well. This is some of the best chill-out music I've ever heard.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By MG Nagy
Format:Audio CD
The thing I have not liked about a lot of Eno's recent output was the lack of an essential ingredient that makes his top drawer records so great: The organic. The records that you can hear (feel) the people on, that are not simply the well crafted output of machinery running in the background. "Nerve Net" and "Spinner" are wonderful examples of the organic coming through.

"Drawn From Life" sounds, figurative and literally like The onE went back and listened to some of his older records. On "Drawn From Life," he is working with a living, breathing drummer. I hope there is further collaboration with J. Peter Schwalm, because the results are excellent.

About the tracks...

"From This Moment" is a very "Discreet"-like introduction that segues beautifully into "Persis," which sounds like a track that should have been on "Spinner."

"Like Pictures Part #1" sounds like we came in toward the end of... something. Barely distinguishable voices in the background segue into "Like Pictures Part #2." Starting with mildly treated drums, backwards tape loops, handclaps, and a violin surface, stretching the time to somewhere between Middle-Eastern and a One-Drop.

And Laurie Anderson, telling us, "Some things are just pictures. They're scenes before your eyes. Don't look now. I'm right behind you." As an aside, I wish Brian and Laurie would stop, er, Pussyfooting around and make an entire record together.

"Night Traffic" and "Rising Dust" are mid-tempo and dark, and would fit nicely with Bill Frisell's "Blues Dream." "Rising Dust" has some way cool background drum loops, beautiful piano, and heavily processed vocals (the phrasing makes me think it's Laurie again). Whoever it is, you can't understand a single word (well, I can't).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars PIcked Up Used For $20
As a huge Brian Eno fan I saw this and had never seen it before. Paid about the right cost for an out of print import CD. It's a solid CD and shows how diverse Eno is. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Stacy Greenberg
4.0 out of 5 stars two silences
Here's what Eno said in MOJO Magazine (Issue 90, 2001) about the two long silences (in Bloom and Two Voices):
"We had that piece, Two Voices, which we both wanted to include... Read more
Published on May 11, 2010 by musica e
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Spambient Music
Drawn From Life appears to be out of print. Such a shame. This is a wonderful "project" that Eno and Schwalm have put together here. Read more
Published on April 1, 2010 by Mark
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern Techno Eno
I have several Eno works in my collection and found this one to be a different twist. More upbeat than his "Music For...." collections.
Published on May 20, 2009 by Leafsfan2028
3.0 out of 5 stars Frippoff
A good degree of likable ambient with soothingly experienced texture work for sure, but, in spite of conscious musical outsourcing, one can only help but sense encroaching... Read more
Published on March 6, 2009 by IRate
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rhythm of Eno Ambience
Through this collaboration with percussionist J. Peter Schwalm, the artistic vision of Brian Eno tackles a musical canvas with rhythms that are placed in rich soundscapes. Read more
Published on November 26, 2008 by Best Of All
3.0 out of 5 stars dissappoint
I had big expectations from Eno's new album. I love Ambient2, ThePearl, Apollo, ShutovAssembly.
The DrawnFromLife is getting me nervous! Read more
Published on March 14, 2003 by Levipek
4.0 out of 5 stars Top-class electronica
What a great project! Definitely one of the better ambient electronica releases of recent times. As professional and classy as you would expect from a Brian Eno project, but Drawn... Read more
Published on February 24, 2003 by Mons
4.0 out of 5 stars Lie Back, and Enjoy !
I always greet a new Eno album with caution...... he truley is a box of tricks, and for that I am grateful. This collaboration with J. Read more
Published on August 3, 2002 by "woofskin"
5.0 out of 5 stars He's back
I'm not sure why anyone would even bring up The Drop here. Eno hasn't produced anything truly great since Nerve Net. Read more
Published on June 13, 2002 by James E. Kowalski
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