Brian Eno – Apollo Atmospheres & Soundtracks (EGLP 53) (1983)


Your Dad

Jesus H. Jumped-Up Motherfucking Christ on a stick! Again with the Brian Eno Apollo Lp! How many times do I have to tell you to turn that Goddamn ambient racket down! I can’t even fucking hear myself think with that strident, haunting drone and in-your-face, atmospheric onslaught!

It’s so fucking peaceful and zen-like, I’m gettin’ a freakin’ headache over here.

No, I don’t care that, through a combination of tender, wistful melody snatches and a dense pad of lush background tones, Apollo evokes the wonder and majesty of space travel and the corresponding enrichment of the human experience, while at the same time darkly alluding to the first manned mission to the moon’s twin existential difficulties, i.e. the possible mortal consequences of error on a personal level and the recognition of the Earth’s relative insignificance at the cosmic level. Not when I’m trying to watch Monday Night Football.

Anyway, it’s not even music–it’s just noise. It’s all texture and no tune. Not like in my day. Back then, if the milkman couldn’t whistle it, it didn’t go on the album, even if it was a perfectly judged aural portrayal of the Apollo astronauts’ awe and scientific coldness, a kind of ambivalence perhaps unique in the history of our species.

And what’s the deal with the innovative use of the steel guitar on side two, ironically evoking country music? Is that supposed to be some sort of comment on the Apollo mission’s American genesis? I don’t know, you tell me.

Whatever. My house is not a Goddamn discotheque and Eno’s “mood music” is putting me in a bad mood. Just turn that shit down before I turn it off–permanently!

It’s no wonder kids today are going deaf.

Editor: I first heard this around ’84 when I baby-sat a friend’s record collection while he spent his Junior year of Kenyon abroad. Later, it was one of the first CDs I bought and if ever a piece of music needed to be experienced with digital clarity, it’s this. As with Spirit of Eden, the crackle of the thrift store vinyl can be a bit distracting.

Published in: on July 31, 2012 at 4:08 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. although i never used to notice it in my youth, nowadays the crackle of vinyl is ALWAYS distracting to me… which is why i either try and get hold of a commercial digital version, or failing that transfer my own vinyl to digital format and weed out the snap crackle and pop with my sound editor. i know – blasphemy! blasphemy!

  2. It only bothers me when it’s overwhelming or, as in this case, the music is particularly delicate. Funk, soul, punk, rock, etc., don’t mind a little crackle.

  3. I love a little crackle. Great score! I love this album.

    The country guitar is there because Eno heard that many of the astronauts loved country music and that they would play their favourite country tunes whilst in space. So Eno put some in there to make an aural experience true to life….

  4. […] I listen, I sense some of the same icy grandeur of Eno and Lanois’ earlier ambient gem Apollo and Bowie’s Low; however, technology had moved on from the previous work and the feel is […]

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