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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Fripp & Eno

No Pussyfooting

Review by Gary Hill

This is difficult CD to write about. It’s certainly hard to delve deeply into these tracks and describe them. Essentially what we have is two extended (eighteen to twenty one minute) pieces of the type of atmospheric textural music that Fripp and Eno typically produced. The thing is, we also get backwards tracked recordings of two of these and a half speed presentation of one of them. The result is a 2 CD set of music that is pretty similar in concept. Nothing moves quickly here. It’s not the kind of thing you want to sit down and give your full attention. That said, it’s also captivating music to have one when you are doing something else.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
The Heavenly Music Corporation
This piece spans the first five tracks of this double disc set. It would be simple to say that this is just an ambient mood piece. Surely there is a lot of that. Nothing moves very quickly here. The truth is, though, this is as much about the weird layers of ambient textures as it is about Robert Fripp’s trademark guitar lines. Layer after layer of sound structure are piled on one another to create a wall of sound that is both beautiful and somewhat oppressive. This has bits of dark and bits of light. It’s nothing that’s extremely melodic, yet there is melody to it. The piece runs nearly twenty one minutes in length and nearly defies definition, explanation or categorization.

Swastika Girls
Encompassing two tracks, this is the other actual “unique” song on show here. In many ways this doesn’t vary much from the last track. That said there are some differences. For one thing it takes a lot longer for Fripp’s guitars to feature prominently than it did on the opener. When they do, though, they seem to become an even more decisive feature of this piece. It’s a nearly nineteen minute piece of ambient texture that slowly transforms
The Heavenly Music Corporation (reversed)
Here we get the first number of the CD played backwards. It really takes on an otherworldly texture like this.

Disc 2
The Heavenly Music Corporation (half speed)
Yep, you guessed it, the same track played at half speed. This really makes it a lot more ethereal.

Swastika Girls (reversed)
How’s that for truth in advertising? We get the backwards version of the second track from the disc.  

 
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