Search - Brian Eno :: Discreet Music

Discreet Music
Brian Eno
Discreet Music
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Special Interest, New Age, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (4) - Disc #1

Limited Edition Japanese "Mini Vinyl" CD, faithfully reproduced using original LP artwork including the inner sleeve. Features most recently mastered audio including bonus tracks where applicable.


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CD Details

All Artists: Brian Eno
Title: Discreet Music
Members Wishing: 9
Total Copies: 0
Label: Editions Eg Records
Release Date: 8/31/1990
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Special Interest, New Age, Pop, Rock
Styles: Ambient, Electronica, Experimental Music, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 017046152020


Album Description
Limited Edition Japanese "Mini Vinyl" CD, faithfully reproduced using original LP artwork including the inner sleeve. Features most recently mastered audio including bonus tracks where applicable.

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CD Reviews

Here comes the warm misstep
B. E Jackson | Pennsylvania | 12/13/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Well, Discreet Music is certainly *exactly* what all the reviews said it was (and warned me about)- nothing but soundtrack music. Pretty, lovely, tolerable SOUNDTRACK music, by the same man who just FLOORED me with all kinds of experimental pop music a few years earlier.

Well, if you like soundtrack music, pleasant background sounds, and a carefully created smooth approach to your music, this is exactly the right album for you. Not sure what Brian Eno was thinking when he went in THIS direction with his music career, but whatever. We can't have brilliance every single time, now can we? A drastic change compared to Here Comes the Warm Jets, and even Another Green World for that matter- you've been warned.

I'm aware that technically Discreet Music isn't actually part of a soundtrack. Instead it's an ambient explosion of sounds, mostly very peaceful and quiet ones. In fact, the music flows a little *too* smoothly. That's why I can't get into it.

That's also the main thing that separates this album from the more melodic and creative Another Green World, where on that album the songs are much shorter overall, and each track is *clearly* in a different style which goes a long way in creating a different feeling for each moment of that album.

Discreet Music is like a jam album full of ambient sounds including much less experimenting, and therefore the album is much different from Another Green World. It's harder to differentiate one track from the next. As a result, to me at least, it's an incredibly dull album. Brian Eno was too much into a creative groove at the time to release an ordinary album like this.

Discreet Music is waaaaaaaay too long, but I have no problem admitting ambient music isn't my main cup of tea. Never was, probably never will be. With that said, everyone else seems to love it, so it's probably better to listen to those reviews instead."
My favorite Eno album
William Muse | Michigan | 06/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Buy this for just the first song alone ("Discreet Music"). Over 30 min in length, it is a wonderfully understated song. I can listen to it a dozen times and it still is capturing. The other songs are almost as good but they pale in comparison."
The 60th Eno Moment
Steven Yates | Greenville, South Carolina USA | 05/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's May 10. Exactly 10 years ago today, an article appeared in The Independent (a British periodical) entitled "50 Eno Moments." The article is on the EnoWeb, a site devoted to Brian Eno and his total accomplishments which now go well beyond music and producing bands like U2 and James.

An "Eno moment" is a fortuitous chance event or decision which totally changes your approach to something, and maybe your entire life. If you're an Enophile, you've probably had a few "Eno moments" of your own. I know I have.

One of these Eno describes: hospitalized after being struck by a taxi in early 1975, a girlfriend brought him a record of harp music. However, one of the channels had failed, it was raining, the sound of the rain was drowning out the music (implied in the account), and Eno was unable to get up and fix things. He relates how at first he was annoyed, but then realized that he was having a different and totally new listening experience, of music as part of a much larger environment and not even necessarily the most important part.

Recordings like DISCREET MUSIC came out of that. It's a very simple recording - a handful of notes played on a cheap synthesizer and recorded on tape loops of apparently different lengths so that they repeat, fall in and out of sync with one another, and create a quiet environment piece that could have begun at an indefinite moment in the past and continue indefinitely in the future. It actually clocks in at 30 mins and 35 sec., which is quite long considering that this was first released on vinyl as one of the first three releases on Eno's Obscure Records label (now collectible; I still own a copy I could probably get good money for if it didn't have sentimental value). Eno has a diagram of the technology that created DISCREET MUSIC on the sleeve.

This was one of the first compositions of "ambient music" designed to integrate smoothly and almost unnoticeably into a larger environment; it was recorded roughly the same time as the classic EVENING STAR (recorded with Robert Fripp) which features a few "bars" from this under the title "Wind on Wind." Later, we would have the better-known MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS and follow-ups such as THE PLATEAUX OF MIRROR and THE PEARL (both with Harold Budd), the incredible ON LAND, APOLLO: ATMOSPHERES AND SOUNDTRACKS, and eventually the music Eno would use in his installations as a visual artist (e.g., COMPACT FOREST PROPOSAL).

Of course, Brian Eno didn't invent the uses of repetition in music or even the use of tape recorders. He had studied the works of composers like Cornelius Cardew, LaMonte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and others which "ordinary" people find unlistenable. But when he created the "ambient music" genre, he took what they began to the next level - "humanizing" it with something that really is listenable if you give it half a chance.

If you've been listening to most of what today gets marketed as "ambient" (sometimes as "ambient-techno" or "ambient-dub"), that's not the real thing. As I believe Eno says somewhere, it's too "busy." DISCREET MUSIC, like its follow-ups listed above (especially ON LAND) is the real thing. This CD is a classic, and belongs in every serious Brian Eno collection.

Oh, the curious title I gave this review. In five days as I pen this, Brian Eno will turn 60. Think of this as the "60th Eno moment."