Brian Eno - Discreet Music LP
The second wave of Brian Eno reissues covers his genre-defining ambient albums from 1975 to 1982. The first in the series is 1975's Discreet Music, which Eno describes as the genesis for his ambient music. While recouperating in the hospital after being struck by a car, Eno found himself inspired through another type of accident. He had been brought a record of 18th century harp music to listen to; after struggling to put the record on in his weakened state, he found the amplifier levels way too low and one channel of the recording completely missing. Thus, he was forced to strain to hear anything but the loudest notes above the ambient din in the room. Add to this Eno's admission that he considers himself a better conceiver of plans than executor of ideas, and you have the foundations for Discreet Music. Eno's goal was to set up a system that generates music with as little input from him as possible. To this end, he created a feedback loop into which he could insert pairs of notes and let the ensuing echo box and delay do the rest. The album's flipside is a suite entitled "Three Variations On the Canon In D Major By Johann Pachelbel." For this piece, Eno took different sections of the original composition and directed the musicians with various instructions for the treatment of their parts, resulting in beautiful deconstructions of a once-familiar canon.