(Planet Me)
Sunday, July 13, 2014
KARL HYDE / BRIAN ENO : "High life"

Hot on the heels of April's “Someday World”, Karl Hyde of Underworld, and Brian Eno, follow up with their next album, and “High Life” is more, and less, of the same – built on the same ethos, this time, taking the same blueprint, the same ingredients, and building something else, something new and different, rolling and falling instrumental pieces that are somewhat formless moodpieces. If you're looking for something melodic, something memorable, well armageddonit? Furgeddaboutit!

Bearing a resemblance to Underworld's more esoteric material – think the live jams, the instrumental guitar led doodles such as “Skym”, this also takes a cue from Eno's instrumental albums, where sound is a tool, where lyrics are absent, and where the endless possibilities of the instruments are a means to itself. To be honest, the indeterminely repetitive “DBF” - which sees a small riff and keyboard line repeated ad nauseum to end with a crescendo of abstract sound, is boring. And the rest of the album, whilst good, is as engaging ; with scant melody and less lyrics, with tedious repetition and little progression. “Moulded Life” is simply rubbish. Sure, it's pretty good – but it's an abstract experiment, a bonus disc of music lacking form and structure, not an album – and where it does occasionally soar - “Lilac” and “Cells And Bells” - is too little, too late. Good is not good enough for the potential here.

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