A Solent University short news feature with me chatting about Eno and electronic music.
An interview with myself and David Pattie on RHYSTRANTER.COM.
“Meticulously written, rich in detail and factually argued ... Anyone who wants to know Eno from the beginning, to understand his experimental strategies in the studio or to study his eternal movement between pop music and free sound, will not be disappointed.”
“Specialists in English, media, film and television have also been invited to take part in this conversation, which feels authentic to the spirit of Eno ... [T]he book mulls over those necessary questions that anyone thinking about Eno must eventually face.” The Wire
'This much needed book explores the many trajectories of Eno’s varied career, and it will engage and excite any music lover, regardless of your opinion of Eno’s work. It’s a richly rewarding collection that deftly explores and unpacks the work of one of popular music’s pioneering figures. While much has been written on Eno, and no doubt will continue to be written, Oblique Music does an outstanding job of critically capturing both the well-known and less familiar elements of Eno’s work. Beyond the specifics of this work, the book provides some thought-provoking material on broader issues such as collaboration, composition, creativity, experimentation, musicianship, technology and more, and as such will stimulate the interest of anyone engaged in music creation and production. This is a book that you will return to time and again—like Eno’s best work, its rewards make themselves most evident after repeated visits'. Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture
On the back of his published diary Brian Eno describes himself variously as: a mammal, a father, an artist, a celebrity, a pragmatist, a computer-user, an interviewee, and a 'drifting clarifier'. To this list we might add rock star (on the first two Roxy Music albums); the creator of lastingly influential music (Another Green World; Music for Airports); a trusted producer (for Talking Heads, U2, Coldplay and a host of other artists); the maker of large-scale video and installation artworks; a maker of apps and interactive software; and so on. He is one of the most feted and influential musical figures of the past forty years, even though he has described himself on more than one occasion as a non-musician.This volume examines Eno's work as a musician, as a theoretician, as a collaborator, and as a producer. Brian Eno is one of the most influential figures in popular music; an updated examination of his work on this scale is long overdue.
“As producer, musician, theorist, facilitator and more, Brian Eno has left significant traces across popular culture since the 1970s and this wide-ranging volume skilfully brings to light both well-known and more obscure aspects of his work and legacy.”
Alexei Monroe, Cultural theorist and author of 'Interrogation Machine: Laibach & NSK' (MIT Press)
“Few figures in the history of modern music stand up to the kind of wide-ranging, detailed and careful treatment meted out in this brilliant collection. Eno's expansive repertoire – from glam rock icon to avant-garde composer - constitutes the fertile grounds for what is a learned and lively intervention. Destined to be a benchmark collection for anyone interested in process-oriented creativity and experimental musicianship, the collection shines a light on Eno's dynamic craftsmanship. It fills a crucial gap in the field, bestowing on the reader a unique insight into Eno the polymath, singer, collaborator, composer, avant-gardiste, intellectual and self-defined “non-musician”. A richly-informed, lucidly written and rigorously compiled collection that provides new insights with every turn of the page.”
Nick Prior, Senior Lecturer and Head of Sociology, University of Edinburgh
With a little help from David Pattie and Skype, I contributed to the ELECTRI_CITY conference in Düsseldorf today - a very strange experience as I was unable to see the audience at all, and was sat in an empty lecture room in Southampton with a light system that turned off every 10 minutes! However, it was strangely enjoyable. I think I managed to make the points I aimed to make, drawing from my previous work on West German electronic music, but am a little envious of David who will now be able to schmooze with the other participants and musicians!
My old friend and musical compadre Richard Rouska has just published this book. It's an autobiography, a history of Leeds alternative music and publishing, and a cautionary tale concerning the rise and fall of Rouska Records. It also covers the two related musical projects that I worked on with Richard - Well Martin, This is Different and WMTID. I appear in it here and there ...
If you are interested in the post-punk period and its musical and political fallout, fanzine culture in the 1980s, Leeds and Yorkshire bands in this period and record industry shenanigans, this could be the book for you.
I recently gave a presentation - 'Curating Hauntology' - as part of the Timecode: 20 Years On Hauntology symposium at the Bradford International Film Festival. I explored issues in locating the 'past inside the present' through reflections on the Hauntology 'online archive' I've been putting together over the last 18 months or so.
The 2003 German and English language book POP SOUNDS: Klangtexturen in der Pop- und Rockmusik that I contributed a chapter to is now available for free here