Music luminary Brian Eno is pretty pretty pretty good at making ambient tracks. Since effectively beginning the genre in 1975 with the release of Discreet Music, Eno’s repeatedly returned to the well with pieces that are at worst tranquil and at best are precisely calibrated, warmly meditative, deeply moving works.
His new record, Reflection, is out January 1 through Warp and a four-minute preview snippet is out now to promote the album. Posted on Mary Anne Hobbs’ BBC Radio 6 page, the brief glimpse of what Eno is up to shows us something not entirely dissimilar to the dark burbles of Ambient 4: On Land. There’s the ballast of a steady synth hum buoyed by specks of keyboard and light discordant swipes. It’s not quite “meditative” because there are too many understated movements in the background for that, but it definitely is centering. Like much of his best work, this snippet of Reflection forces you to pay attention through its subtlety. Not unlike the world at large, every action here has an effect. Nothing occurs and then just disappears for good.
(You can hear the Reflection snippet here at the 1:08:45 mark. And again, the new record is out Friday (Jan. 1) through Warp. Accompanying the new record is what Eno calls a “generative” version for iOS and Apple TV that will allow users to navigate through various sonic and visual terrains. Eno has said the app for the record will feature music that steadily changes over time, so he’ll be one step closer to making “endless music.”)