Now approaching it's 25th anniversary, Brian Eno and David Byrne's My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts appears downright visionary. With it's 'found' vocals, cut-and-paste arrangements, funked-up rhythms and embrace of influences from all around the globe, the duo's controversial work anticipated the creative cross-pollination an technological innovation of contemporary electronic dance music, world music, hip hop and alternative rock. You can hear echoes of My Life in The Bush Of Ghosts in the anthems Moby built around vintage samples, in the outrageously exotic beats of Missy Elliott and Timbaland, in the middle eastern-accented chill-out tracks of Thievery Corporation or Bjork's otherworldly soundscapes.
Released in 1981, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is a collaboration between ambient pioneer Brian Eno and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. On Ghosts, the two strong-willed musicians manage to come to a meeting of the minds, blending Byrne's herky-jerky funk with Eno's atmospheric sound sculpting. More than anything, this is a large album, intent on pushing itself to the front of the listener's consciousness. Abundant percussion (everything from booming tribal drums to eerie electronics) reverberates in the background while Byrne and Eno toss all manner of found sounds, field recordings, and radio broadcasts into the mix. What results is a groundbreaking album that introduced a generation to the dazzling possibilities offered by electronic recording techniques. Highlights include "The Jezebel Spirit," an electro-funk workout that uses a recording of an exorcism as its focal point, and "Very, Very Hungry," a mysteriously ethereal display of electronic percussion and large-scale sonic architecture. --S. Duda