In the Groove
Panic of Lo oking
In addition to conceiving ambient music and having an uncanny knack for helping big names acts (from Bowie to U2 to Coldplay) reinvent themselves, Brian Eno has also long explored myriad ways of presenting vocals in music. This release is the second from his collaboration with the British poet, Rick Holland, following on from Drums Between the Bells. This is a shorter offering of just six tracks and features three different vocalists, including Eno, speaking, and at times singing, Holland's words. The words swim in an opulent sound world that sometimes drifts and at other times grooves in very subtle and understated ways. The opener, In the Future, is the most song-like; the words set to a simple folkish melody on a repeating chord progression laid down by a bass/synth sound. Not a Story is a carefully constructed soundscape underpinned by a shifting low-pitched drone and occasional electronic warbles. The track evolves with a pulsing bass and chiming melody underneath an itemised and fragmented list of personal belongings, from "my colour, my race" to "my excretions, magnetics, kinetics and bundles". Panic of Looking flows slowly with an obscured beat and cascading synth blip with words delivered in a snail-paced hip hop manner. Great for a quiet moment when you want to look at things in a different way.