Drums Between the Bells
|Listen Now with Amazon Music|
Drums Between The Bells
|Amazon Music Unlimited|
|New from||Used from|
|Audio CD, Limited Edition, July 5, 2011||
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Brian Eno first came across the work of Rick Holland in the late 90's during the Map-Making project; a series of collaborative works between students of the Royal College, the Guildhall School of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, the National Youth Orchestra and the English National Ballet, among others. In 2003, Brian and Rick made their first music together. The resulting work does not appear on this album. In the time since that initial session they have met infrequently to work on new compositions. In early 2011, following the release of Small Craft on a Milk Sea (Brian's debut album for Warp Records), the pair resolved to finish the project. Drums Between the Bells is the result.
This special hardcover edition of Brian Eno's Drums Between The Bells includes a second disc with instrumental versions of tracks, and a 44 page book containing an essay by Eno as well as further images.
Top customer reviews
Another noteworthy feature is that some of the sounds Eno has chosen are reflective of Rick Hollands words. On Sound Alien, the line "Drums Between the Bells' (used as CD title) is spoken over bell like sounds, and drum sounds. On track 13 "Multimedia", the line "sticks click" is spoken over the sounds of clicking (sticks?). Eno has used his voice to it's best advantage. On "Dow", he almost sounds like Kraftwork, although the polyrhythm he has created is not as electronic sounding as theirs. On "Cloud",He sings in an almost trance like rhythm. By far the best of Eno's vocal performances is "Breath of Crows" He elongates the words , and invokes a mystical quality previously unheard from him. I was reminded of the late Jim Morrison for some reason. Perhaps the mystical invocations were similar. I will probably get the 2 cd version, but this one is adequate for listeners just beginning to enjoy Eno's music. It has enough instrumental diversity to satisfy ambient music fans, and the rockers who love"... Bush of Ghosts" . The cross section of musical styles is reflective of his past work. The Poetry is a new addition, and the words will invoke deeper thoughts in those looking for cerebral stimulation. What's not to like?
What is a song? Obviously it doesn't require the human voice; there are millions of instrumental songs out there. But for those songs with vocals, do they require singing? A lot of folks will think so without really thinking about it--until they hear the material on this set of CDs. At least two musical forms of life use vocals without singing: those with spoken word set directly over music, and those with "found voices" ripped from their original context, rearranged, treated, etc., and placed over music. Brian Eno and his cohorts both past and present have experimented with both; in the liner notes in the small clothbound book in the 2-CD set, Eno mentions several examples going all the way back to the colorfully fascinating "Dead Finks Don't Talk" on his very first solo LP *Warm Jets*. Some tracks on *Bush of Ghosts* involving "found singing," we might call it; others are "found voices." He forgets to mention the bizarre "Broken Head" on *After the Heat*, his second collaboration with the two members of the German group Cluster (Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius). Finally there is "Bone Bomb," the unsettling final track on *Another Day on Earth*.
The tracks collected on CD-1--the official release--use multiple voices (including Brian Eno's own) to read the poetry of one Rick Holland. That Eno would draw on the words of a poet isn't surprising: however fascinated he might be by the use of the spoken word in song, he's said on many occasions that he doesn't have much interest in writing his own. The two of them apparently have been working together for quite some time, producing material. Finally they decided to bring their project to fruition. This is quite a listening experience, which as others have noted won't be for everybody. The music is not different from what we'd expect: it ranges from dreamy and atmospheric (tracks like "Dreambirds," "The Real" and "Breath of Crows") to various pulsating and electro beats (the jazzy, laid-back opener "Bless This Space," "Glitch," "A Title," "Multimedia"), and occasionally a set of chord progressions that vaguely recalls Eno's work with U2 ("Seedpods"). The only track that veers into harshness is "Sounds Alien" which also contains the line that gave this album its title. Occasionally Holland's poetry is read; sometimes it is sung in a kind of monotone ("Dow," "Breath of Crows"). The voice of the person chosen--sometimes it is someone with no previous experience in the recording studio--invariably fits the mood of the piece perfectly. To my mind the loveliest pieces here, though, are "Cloud 4" which features a return by Eno to more-or-less traditional singing, and the instrumental "As If Your Eyes Were Partly Closed..."
Now obviously, rap and hip-hop have been relying on the spoken word (sometimes shouted--but not sung). I never found either to be of much interest. Leave it to Brian Eno to raise the issues ensuring that even those of us who don't care for rap or hip hop will never hear them in quite the same light again.
Yet even spoken word isn't essential to the songs containing it. We find this out on the limited edition CD-2, which contains the same musical tracks without the words--interestingly, reordered and retitled. We find out that the instrumental versions work just fine without the voice. Each is, in fact, a little jewel, complete in itself. Let's remember: Eno's "flatter" view of music has never seen vocals as necessarily at the center no matter how delivered--or necessary at all.
Because of this last, I'd recommend getting the collectible set while it's available, which probably won't be very long.
There is nothing groundbreaking here, but the record seems fresh and inspired. Some of the tunes are familiar and I am not sure if he is sampling himself or not. The Real sounds like something from The Apollo soundttracks and a couple of tracks remind me of Nerve Net such as Glitch and Sounds Alien with its techno stomp. A Title and Cloud 4 could come from Another Green World, while Breath of Crows is reminiscent of On Land. Maybe some My Life in the Bush of Ghosts with Multimedia. And there is one minute of silence entitled Silence. Anywhere else, I would find this annoying, but here it just seems natural.
So all in all, this is kind of a pastiche of his former styles while moving ahead with beautiful spoken word poetry and state of the art production. This is a really nice record. Five stars!
Oh, and I would recommend ordering the cd versus the mp3, just because of the nice packaging. It comes with a beautiful booklet with artwork and lyrics and not to mention credits. A great buy for $10 something.