Brian Eno teams up with Underworld’s Karl Hyde for “Someday World”.

Eno, left in  Roxy Music.

Eno (left) with Bryan Ferry (centre) in Roxy Music.

In 1979, Brian Eno sat down with a can of fizzy pop and a packet of Hula Hoops to idly watch an episode of Mork and Mindy. It was the last uncreative thing he ever did. Since then, he’s been forever doing something.

My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts.

My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts.

After leaving Roxy Music and inventing ambient music, he worked on Bowie’s seminal Berlin trilogy, produced three of Talking Heads’ best albums, all of the best U2 albums, and pioneered sampling with David Byrne with My Life in The Bush Of Ghosts back in 1981.

He’s worked on soundtracks, installations and albums with Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman, Daniel Lanois, Robert Fripp, John Cale, Laurie Anderson, Robert Wyatt and James Blake, as well as Dido, Coldplay and Microsoft. Despite the fact that he only works on a Mac.

In other words, he’s both intimidatingly prolific, and consciously catholic in his choice of collaborators. His last two albums are happily more of the same.

His latest offering is Someday World, which he produced with Underworld’s Karl Hyde. It’s an infectiously upbeat, anthemic album that will provide the perfect backdrop for your next trip in a car or on a train. But truth be told, even though it’s a little bit better than the 6.2 it gets from Pitchfork  here, it is just a little underwhelming.

Bowie, Bono and Eno in '02.

Bowie, Bono and Eno in ’02.

Much more satisfying is his 2012 offering, Lux. Harking back to his earlier, purely ambient work such as Music for Airports in 1978, or Apollo, the piece he did with his brother Roger and Daniel Lanois in 1983, Lux as its title suggests is both calm and intimate, yet warm and expansive. Somehow, even monumental.

It is yet another remarkable addition to a staggering back catalogue. You can hear a sample from Lux here.

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Debut Album from Savages Justifies All The Noise.

David Bowie.

David Bowie.

The latest nextbigthing from Britain are Savages, and their much vaunted debut album, Silence Yourself has just hit the shelves. And they’re this close to being faintly ridiculous.

They’re a four piece all girl retro post punk combo, and they take themselves terribly seriously.

Perhaps it’s unfair to castigate them for that. All they’re doing is taking their cue from Roxy and Bowie and their attitude at the onset of the 70s.

If you don’t take yourself and what you do seriously how can you expect anyone else to? And not just the music. Everything.

The debut album from Savages.

The debut album from Savages.

But with Bowie and Roxy it was so much more colourful. And fun. Everything’s so black and white with Savages. A bit of rouge could really brighten them up. If it weren’t for the actual music, the whole thing would be ever so slightly risible.

Happily though, Silence Yourself really is an arresting album.

Lead singer Jehnny Beth is openly channelling Patti Smith via Siouxsie Sioux. But although they sound every bit as feral as the Banshees, it’s all produced in a much more planned and practiced way.

They are coming at it from the same place as Canadian noise maestros Metz, reviewed by me earlier here.

Roxy circa '72

Roxy circa ’72

It might initially appear like a wall of industrial noise made up of layers of dissonant feedback, but it soon reveals itself as a carefully crafted and patiently practiced collection of meticulously structured songs.

Which will probably annoy some. Punk wasn’t supposed to be practiced. But all it really means is that Savages and Metz are much better at it than most of those who went before.

The boys from Pitchfork gave them an 8.7 here, and you can see them perform their single Husbands on the Jools Holland Show here.

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