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Drawn from Life Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, June 12, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

ENO BRIAN & SCHWALM PETER DRAWN FROM LIFE

Amazon.com

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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  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


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 12, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Astralwerks
  • ASIN: B00005AKNC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,122 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven Yates on 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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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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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 best 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, hand claps, 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.
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Format: Audio CD
*shannon's only listened to this album once all the way through*
i'm still in awe as i listen to the album a second time through. i just snagged myself a copy of this album on account of a friend's recommendation. my jaw is on the floor...and my ears have been tweaked to their liking...the music seeps in and feeds my craving for something different within the context of ambient music. eno and schwalm create some of the most luxurious soundscapes...painting a tranquil image, blossoming within the listener's mind. simultaneously, eno and schwalm create eerie underlying tones, which add to the complexities surrounding the music. the functionality of the music pours out as the listener is taken on a far away journey to the depths of reality...soothing the soul and calming the mind. some tracks to watch out for: "intenser," "persis," "like pictures #2," "bloom"...well, i find that i really can't pick specific favorites, as the entire album is something to be devoured whole! place this in your cd changer...press play...let eno and schwalm take you into their world...and savor each note as it unfolds during the course of the album!
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