2039-2-P Mysterious Barricades
Produced by Andy Summers & David Hentschel
Released on 1988
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
2039-2-P cover
[high resolution scan]

A fine collection of fragments that leans closer to the Eno side of the equation than technical Frippery. Mysterious Barricades suggests a union of The Plateaux of Mirror and Music For Films, still life snapshots that bring an image into focus over the course of a few minutes and then disappear back into the mist. As with The Golden Wire (which embraced a wider range of styles, by the way), this is first-rate ambient/new age music and no mere also-ran. Andy Summers has an internal camera’s eye that enables him to center the musical discussion on an interesting object and crop out the extraneous while keyboardist David Hentschel provides a sense of spatial relations (i.e., depth and shadows). Thus, these compositions avoid the pitfalls of Eno’s bits and pieces by being at once self-contained and yet part of a greater gallery. Although the songs have distinct personalities, they rarely stray from the thick grazing grass of moody meditation. The closing “How Can I Forget,” in fact, uses an audible “Om” to center the listener’s state of being. While I prefer the chilling analog of treated piano that appears on Plateaux of Mirror, the warm wash of sounds used on Mysterious Barricades (synthesizer, guitar, some percussion) is nearly as effective. Sometimes, this digital domain seems headed to TD’s station (“Train Song” suggests the pair has arrived at Optical Race), other times it crests the high-minded melodies of Windham Hill (“The Lost Marbles”). As always, The Police’s fingerprints can be vaguely detected (“Mysterious Barricades”), especially if you imagine the suspended guitar lines sped up. As with Plateaux of Mirror, Summers and Hentschel have a solid understanding of the role of light and shadow in music, evident on pieces like “Shining Sea,” “In Praise of Shadows” and the fascinating “Satyric Dancer” (which I doubt has anything to do with satyrs). Even a bit of jazz slips through the barricade on “Luna.” The album’s dedication to Erik Satie may scare off non-classicists, but don’t worry. You don’t need a musical degree to get past Mysterious Barricades, just a degree of musical curiosity and a relaxed state of mind.

2039-2-P back sleeve
2039-2-P back sleeve


  1. RED BALLOON    (Andy Summets/David Hentschel)    3:33
  3. WHEN THAT DAY COMES    1:20
  4. TRAIN SONG    2:34
  5. LUNA    2:28
  6. SATYRIC DANCER    (Andy Summers/David Hentschel)    3:45
  7. SHINING SEA    3:24
  9. RAIN    3:12
  10. TOMORROW    3:22
  11. IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS    3:13
  12. THE LOST MARBLES    (Andy Summers/David Hentschel)    4:43
  13. HOW CAN I FORGET    2:36

    All music written by Andy Summers unless noted


ANDY SUMMERS -- electric/acoustic guitars, mixing, still life photo
DAVID HENTSCHEL -- keyboards, mixing
Bob Casale -- recording engineer, mixing
Dennis Smith -- technical assistance
Anne Seelbach -- cover painting ("The Blue House")
Bonnie Schiftman -- colour portrait
Marc Abraham -- black & white portrait
Norman Moore -- art direction & design

WW 1988 Private Music LP/CD 2039-1/-2-P gatefold cover, picture sleeve


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