Plutonic Rainbows

Brian Eno - Reflection (Review)

I enjoyed this new album but it’s far from his best ambient work. Having lived with the iOS app edition for a few days, it quickly tires. The main problem with ‘Reflection’ is that the actual sounds Eno has chosen to program into the algorithm that produces what you hear are pretty uninspiring.

21st century Brian Eno has a very peculiar idea of what constitutes a beautiful sound. The actual textures and atmospherics don’t do an awful lot for me and are, dare I say it, old-fashioned. They are the sort of sound he was producing back in his Koan period.

I appreciate that he’s trying to let a machine dictate what happens but he could have given it better sounds to play with. While I applaud his desire to bring generative music to the fore, nothing on ‘Reflection’ even remotely comes close to the beautiful sounds on albums like ‘Thursday Afternoon’ (1985) and ‘The Shutov Assembly’ (1992).

Ironically, the instruments he used on Shutov Assembly (I’m guessing late 80s Korg Series, Roland D50 and Yamaha DX7 all treated and maniplulated) sound more modern and futuristic than the (largely) uninspiring sounds on ‘Reflection’.