First off, ‘Discreet Music’ is not a rock-record, but an atypical stance by an avantegarde artiste who’ll try anything for-with anyone – even dabbling in semi-classical, electronic veins….oh Brian, quo vadis?
There are two related motifs employed in both discs that serve as nuclei for such experimental sound-music: I.) music as slowly evolving change producing slightly new formulations of ititial patterns; and 2.) music as subconscious stimulant or background music… ‘Evening Star’ falls into the first category; ‘Discreet Music’ is the latter.
Since, also, so much attention relies on absolute ambivalence, Eno (and Fripp) can’t help but take himself quite seriously; at least to insure the music’s validity-creditability. Electronic music is such a new field which seems to be pioneered by only a few souls dedicated to it alone, and not to its incorporation with other styles of music. For example, Robert Fripp, guitar mentor and genius extraordinaire of King Crimson, since teaming up with whiz-kid, Eno, has sought soley to expand the vocabulary of the electric guitar. He has taught it to whine, scream, growl, bite, hum, soothe, sing, swoon and croon while floating on a bed of electronic loops, fluff, and synthesized whirlpools ready to suck sound in and onto itself, spewing it forth in another eddy measures away… yeah: just like that! Fripp works with sound, and not notes ( that are notes) to counter Eno’s own aural adventures in drone. If there is melody, there is Fripp. If there is repetition-drone, thank Eno. And sometimes, vice versa…. I’ve listened to these discs for countless hours. The ‘music’ is cold and sterile, but uncompromisingly picturesque.
(and if that doesn’t warm your cerebrum, don’t take it to heart: save your swoons for ‘Another Green World’…aaaahhhhh….
Selected cuts: none or all