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High Life

4.0 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 1, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Within weeks of the release of their acclaimed debut album
Someday World, Warp is excited to reveal that the collaboration
between Brian Eno and Karl Hyde continues with a
second full-length album, High Life, to be released July
1st.
Written and recorded across a series of recording sessions
in April of 2014 (some of which were open to selected
media from around the world), none of the music on High
Life existed before Someday World was completed! The
resulting record, at 6 tracks and 45 minutes, is the clearest
expression yet of the 'Reichkuti' (Steve Reich meets Fela
Kuti) direction that first brought the Eno Hyde collaboration
into being. And as the polyrhythms and melodies build, swirl
and syncopate, the album feels truly alive with the energy of
this time in the studio.
High Life reunites Eno and Hyde with the 20 year old
producer/multi-instrumentalist Fred Gibson, previous
Eno-collaborator Leo Abrahams on guitar, drummer Chris
Vatalaro, and keyboardist Don E. Taken alongside Someday
World, it provides a fascinating insight in to how consistent
influences can lead to very different but connected music, and
continues to tell the story of two iconic musicians collaborating
and exploring together. We look forward to seeing how fans
select their own favorites across the two albums.

Review

The overall effect is addictive....Rolling Stone --Rolling Stone

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Return (09.00)
  2. DBF (04.14)
  3. Time To Waste It (08.19)
  4. Lilac (09.24)
  5. Moulded Life (04.55)
  6. Cells & Bells (07.41)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warp Records
  • ASIN: B00KLSSKA8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,493 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Charles Miller on July 1, 2014
Format: Audio CD
On the heels of Someday World, comes High Life, what Brian Eno described as further material inspired during the former's work sessions. Of the two new releases, this one is superior. Not that Someday World was anything less than 5 stars itself, the material on this album goes beyond "just another Brian Eno release" with its longer pieces, giving time to develop into some pretty rousing musical moments. Eno's vocal work here is as good as it gets while the music would stand on its own if these tracks were presented as instrumentals. Additionally, this album features Karl Hyde's contributions to far greater advantage with some excellent ascending guitar work not as obvious on Someday World.

Another plus is that unlike Someday World, there is no "deluxe" edition where the cost is twice as high for a so-called bonus disc. The 1/4 hour bonus disc for that album, in tandem with 3/4 hour regular disc totaled to less than an hour. Seems like Mr. Eno inflates prices with this "1 album for the price of 2" tactic frequently these days. Consider one his best releases of the past decade, "Small Craft On A Milk Sea" ...a particularly onerous example where one had to spend a 3-digit figure for the 4 bonus track CD only available if you purchased the vinyl edition! What if I don't have a turntable? Why must I buy records to get a bonus compact disc? The vinyl version of High Life also has a track not found anywhere else, On A Grey Day. So again, how many times must I buy this title in how many different formats to get the entire, under one hour album? Answer: 3 (the CD, the MP3 download or the expensive Japanese import, and the vinyl version). Ugh!

As always, the Japanese version of High Life has a literal bonus track: Slow Down, Sit Down And Breathe.
Read more ›
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This is the second collaboration between these two this year. I reviewed their first album last week and heard a track of this on NPR ASC and decided from that listen that this was something I would buy. This first album was more rock with shorter tighter compositions, whereas this album is a bit more funk inspired with longer, vampy songs. There are some really great guitar licks and melodies on this album. Some of the tracks (DBF) remind me of the talking heads, jangly stabby guitar lines, with long sprawling jams. It is so much fun to hear these experimental tracks. They have an almost rock electronic ambient sound that I think works really well. There are some vocals on this album but they too play a secondary role and are used just as another instrument in creating these long tunes. Moulded Life comes out of the album grabbing straight for your jugular, it is abrasive, loud, heavy, and a joy to listen to. They know how to create and nurture a great groove. This is a great companion album to their first one. This album hits so many things that I enjoy: Ambient, electronic, rock, funk.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm a long-time Eno fan ("Here Come the Warm Jets" was a huge influence on my own music), and also can cop to having the Freur album with "Doot Doot" on in (on vinyl, no less), so this is an exciting collaboration for me. I think "Someday World" (which Eno/Hyde put out immediately before "High Life") is a really interesting album, and I love it that Eno is returning back to focus on song form for a while.

My issue with "High Life" is this: while "Someday World" seems fully conceived and executed, "High Life" comes off as an early demo for an album project. While the production on "High Life" is (as you would imagine) immaculate, the tracks themselves come off as ideas, sound beds, treatments, fragments, etc. that are being prepared to form the basis of some more developed, final versions of album tracks. I think it's wonderful that Eno and Hyde were so excited by their collaboration on "Someday World" that they felt like they wanted to dive into more work together. However, "High Life" would have benefited immeasuably from having these tracks be worked on a lot more and developed, edited, etc. into worthwhile final pieces. As it stands, what we have is a sketchpad of the album that might have been. I'm sure they have busy schedules, but this release is something that needed to have more time devoted to it, and these tracks (as they are) are really only fit to round out a big box set of Eno's work.

I definitely hope that they continue to work together, because there's an interesting spark between them that could really go places if they devote the time to let it develop.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After purchasing Eno/Hyde's new work Someday World and getting it the day it was released, I was surprised to see that they released another work almost immediately afterward. The New Yorker review of both works is cogent and it merits reading:
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/07/07/ambient-genius

Nevertheless, despite some of the thinness of some of the first tracks of Someday World, so far I have enjoyed it slightly more than High Life. I believe it is a clever marketing strategy to take what is essentially a double album or a long album with works that seem to be all of one piece, and selling them separately at full price. That said, the work as a whole is a nice edition to the Eno canon.
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