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  • Lux
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4.5 out of 5 stars56
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VINE VOICEon November 13, 2012
When the mood is right, there are few greater pleasures for me than traveling along with Brian Eno and submerging into one of his sparklingly beautiful ambient mindscapes. His newest, Lux, was designed to accompany an art installation in Turin, Italy, themed around "the play of light." The album is a series of four long pieces totaling about 1.2 hours. The structure is alternating and overlapping synth tones which seem to shimmer and hang in the air like the play of light that inspired the music. The music sounds fairly harmonious on its surface, but there is subtle tension lurking below, slightly more noticeable within "LUX 2" & "3." This would seem to be perfect music for experiencing an art installation, but it's also excellent as background music for working on the computer, reading a magazine, drinking a glass of wine, etc. Maybe for meditation, too, although I wonder if the subtle shifts in feeling might prove too distracting for that purpose.
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on November 15, 2012
I LOVE this album and have been waiting with baited breath for a return to form.

"Lux" falls in with "Neroli" and "Thursday Afternoon," is autumnal in tone and would work nicely in headphones while sitting in and/or strolling through a sunlit cemetery that's bursting with foliage in the very early afternoon hours of a day off from work.

Though past outings such as "Drums Between the Bells" and "Small Craft on A Milk Sea" explore DIFFERENT sides of his muse, it's always been his more ambient efforts which have afforded me the opportunity to actually "listen" to myself.

I'm a hospital switchboard operator, so you can only imagine how my ears THIRST for THIS KIND of ear candy after an 8-hour shift of marathon-speaking, thinking, processing and typing. Thank you, Brian! :-)
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on November 14, 2012
As much as I enjoy the recent diversity of Eno's output, he is back to his bread and butter with "Lux." For well over a decade - as both "Most Played" and threadbare disc surface will attest- Eno's ambient "Thursday Afternoon" masterpiece has been a source of inspiration for me, a sort of soundtrack to my life. After giving Lux a turn, I can tell instantly that this work is bound to cast a similar spell. These 4, technically seperate tracks, actually comprise a whole. Deeply layered, subtle and at times haunting, There seems to be endless possibilities to explore here. I havent read any of the album credits (downloaded only the mp3 version so far), but it sounds as if Harold Budd or Harold Budd-esque piano work meanders through the work. Along with "Thursday Afternoon," my other favorite ambient album is the beautiful Budd & Eno, "The Pearl"; A haunting piece that uses heavy doses of acoustic piano, blending perfectly over Eno's meandering sonic scapes. Equally so here on "Lux" While written for a specific art installation, (as have so many of Eno's recent compositions) This work would seem to transcend a soundscape for a singular, particular piece of art. It has the quality-like all truly brilliant ambient pieces- to provide living music, useful in just about any and all situations throught the day. Sorry for rambling, but I just gave the album another spin and couldn't be happier with my purchase. Thank you Brian.
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on March 19, 2013
I just had to get that "Music for" line in the title. The sounds on "Lux" really do recall Eno's "Music for Airports" (Ambient 1, 1978) and his "Discreet Music" (Obscure no. 3, 1975) releases. Simple, slowly moving, sketches, based around, what I presume is a treated piano (credits just say "Written and Produced by Brian Eno", specifying "Additional Musicans" Leo Abrahams on Moog Guitar, and Neil Catchpole on Violins and Violas). The sustained dissolves and fades of single notes, at times bring to mind "Apollo", with its sense of calm and accompanying suspense.

The four tracks are almost anonymously titled, "Lux 1", "Lux 2", "Lux 3" and "Lux 4", each being close to 20 minutes long, with none actually hitting that mark. The disc could pleasantly run as a continuous loop, achieving the desired background music effect Eno descibed in the liner notes to "Discreet Music" (1975). "Lux" is taken from a composition by Eno for The Great Gallery of the Palace of Venaria, Turin, Italy. According to the website Volumina, "Brian Eno's sound installation '12 Seasons, Music for the Great Gallery of the Palace of Venaria' was created expressly for the Great Gallery of the Reggia di Venaria. The sound installation created by Brian Eno explores the possible aesthetics offered by new technology in relation to the ambient, with a series of musical movements which stratify into each other. To take full advantage of the acoustic characteristics of the Great Gallery, Eno worked directly inside the room in order to obtain the proper balance between the sounds and the acoustic reverberations. The twelve movements are played over the speaker system, with two speakers located at the entrance and two at the exit of the Great Gallery, surrounding visitors with sounds that vary according to their position inside the Gallery."

From this, Eno distilled the four parts found on "Lux". Of some interest, Peter Chilvers performs the task of "Additional Mixing". Chilvers is know for his work on the Burning Shed label with Tim Bowness and Theo Travis among others, his solo piano album on that label, his recent work with Eno, and his recent band with Bowness, Slow Electric.

There are four cardstock "exclusive prints" (by Eno) in the "First Edition" of the CD (and the LP), bringing to mind the fact that Eno included four prints by artist Peter Schmidt in early UK editions of "Before and After Science". The whole package is attractive in an LP-style, gatefold sleeve, the prints in one pocket and the disc in an inner sleeve in the other pocket. The whole presentation appears as a genuine and successful effort by Eno to revisit his early experiments in ambient and minimalist music. I was more than pleasantly surprised to hear that, after 38 years, Brian Eno is still able to achieve the necessary restraint to craft music of such unimposing and subtle qualities.
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on February 1, 2013
If the name "Brian Eno" doesn't mean anything to you, then you need read no further. If you're not already a fan, you need not read any further.

But ... if you DO know his work, if you're interested in intelligent, thoughtful music, if you've any idea who coined the term "ambient music," then this recording is one more destination in the long journey and make sure to book your room for a long and enjoyable stay.

Eno's ambient works have been plots on a helix, taunting us sometimes with the sense of having heard bits before, only realize that we haven't and he's fooled us again with his mastery of timbre and texture. In a recent interview with fellow audio adventurer Laurie Anderson, Laurie asked him if he'd ever composed music for an elevator (hinting at the criticism aimed at ambient music as being fit for elevators, while alluding to his "Music for Airports"), Brian's response was that it would need to be a very long elevator. But oh, what a ride it would be...
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on April 13, 2013
I agree with other reviewers that Lux is a masterpiece reminiscent of Neroli and Thursday Afternoon. It is deeply placid in a way that reminds me of spring mornings and dappled sunshine, or of watching a quiet sea. It has a kaleidoscopic effect, since there are no obvious repetitions. There's no need here for melody. The notes or tones each have their own interest, like points of light, that make this music pleasurable to listen to at each moment, with no need for lots of regular, machine-like patterns. The satisfaction of predictability, completion or catharsis isn't needed here either. Each moment is sufficient onto itself. In my youth this music would have made me impatient and fidgety. There are no jagged edges of sound or rhythm to catch the listener's attention. There's no goal or resolution. It doesn't push any buttons to make you feel angry or empowered. There's nothing to prove. There's no posturing or desire to impress. Tranquillity like this is valuable and refreshing.
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on November 29, 2012
There is a select library of albums that I play at bedtime and this has quickly become one of my favorites. It's a time of day when I'm vulnerable and need to be serene. This highly accomplished album is most theraputic.
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on January 7, 2014
EXCELLENT Recording by Brian Eno. This is a most curious recording as it appears to have the best parts of Ambient 1, Shutov Assembly and Ambient 4....I have a few other recording of Eno, but for the purpose of meditation and relaxed reading, this is a fantastic piece......
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on March 25, 2013
The best Eno's ambient recording since "Neroli". I really loved the gentle, subtle atmospheres and the sense of melancholy but luminous spaces this music creates.
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on September 21, 2013
The vast territories of Brain Eno are again surveyed.
Another great piece of work from a total original.
This recording is guaranteed to take you on a trip of your own design.
Sublime and beautiful.
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