Brian Eno & Harold Budd - Ambient 2


Band/Record: Brian Eno /Harold Budd - Ambient 2 The Plateaux Mirror

Label/Matrix: GER 1980 EG 2311 165 with S1 // S1

Condition Record/Sleeve: Mint-/Mint-

Extra Info: Electronic PROG KILLER !! Rare original German 1st pressing on the EG label. MINTY ... Dream AUDIO...

The nice thing about Eno's "Ambient" series is that each volume offers a different take on the same idea. In the second, he teams up with minimalist pianist Harold Budd to explore the ambient possibilities of the piano. The music is quite similar to their other collaboration "The Pearl," but here Eno's contributions are far more evident than on that better known album. As usual, Eno's main "instrument" is the studio, adding mesmerizing reverbs (NOTHING like your standard PC reverb plugins) and dreamy synth washes that hover in the background just beyond conscious hearing. It's enough to separate this album from the immense sea of new age knockoffs. Budd's piano is at times dangerously close to Wyndham Hill for me, but it is always saved by Eno's creative treatments.

It's always tricky reviewing ambient albums, because you can't point to highlights, catchy melodies or instrumental virtuosity. It all comes down to mood, and this disc in certainly relaxing. However, making relaxing music is child's play and not sufficient to warrant praise. What sets this (and most of Eno's ambient work) apart is the fact that it is rewarding when actively listened to, as well as when used for background music. With that in mind, I can easily award this album four stars, as it is certainly a requisite for anyone interested in the genre, and a shining example of the style.