Album: Brian Eno, Drums Between the Bells (Warp)

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The Independent Culture

Brian Eno's second album for Warp involves his settings of the words of Rick Holland, the lyrics recited by a range of vocalists chosen for their characterful delivery, in several cases the result of using English as a second language.

It's like an electronica version of those jazz & poetry projects of the 1960s, so it's apt it should open with "Bless This Space", a jazzy, cymbal-led groove carrying Eno's whirling electro-dubscape and calm, measured narration. From there, the arrangements veer between Prodigy/Chemical Brothers-style techno-rock ("Sounds Alien") to slower krautrock ("A Title") and the kind of typically contemplative, Eno-esque piano figures and synthscapes suitable for the lyrical ambitions to "imaginate", "find new colours that fly" and see "the really real in things". It's pleasant enough, but sometimes the words do rather get in the way.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Bless This Space; Dreambirds; A Title; Breath of Crows