EGS 303 Discreet Music
Produced by Brian Eno
Released on November 1975
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
EGS 303 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

I magine the horn blowing on some faraway ship, pregnant with the promise of a better life beyond the shores of your mundane reality, and you’ll have an inkling into what makes Discreet Music the perfect album for meditation. Eno’s idea was to create music that could be played in the background, at such low levels that it might escape casual attention. While the pieces do function well as ambient accompaniment, listeners who pay attention have found themselves mesmerized by the wave-like washes of sound on “Discreet Music 1 & 2” especially. The album cover features a simple diagram that shows how Discreet Music was created: a synthesizer with digital recall is run through an equalizer (which Eno would fiddle with), an echo unit, and then through a tape recorder that played back the delayed output alongside the current output. It sounds confusing (the diagram helps a little), but anyone who’s heard No Pussyfooting will find familiar principles at work. The second side features three “variations” on Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major; Eno cuts up the score into little pieces and reconstructs it into a stuffy yet somehow delightful re-realization of the original. In the traditional sense, Discreet Music really isn’t music, and this is where Eno’s peculiar genius pays off: blurring the distinction between sound and music while drawing listeners into a unique and compelling musical environment. Anyone wishing to explore Eno’s ambient world would do well to own this album and Ambient One: Music for Airports.

EGS 303 back cover
EGS 303 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. DISCREET MUSIC 1 & 2    30:30
  2. THREE VARIATIONS ON THE CANON IN D MAJOR BY JOHANN PACHELBEL
     (i) FULLNESS OF WIND    9:58
     (ii) FRENCH CATALOGUES    5:11
     (iii) BRUTAL ARDOUR    4:18

    All compositions written by Brian Eno

CREDITS

BRIAN ENO -- electronics, cover photograph
GAVIN BRYARS -- conductor, arangements
THE COCKPIT ENSEMBLE --
Peter Kelsey -- engineer

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK November 1975 Obscure LP OBS 3  
US December 1975 Antilles LP AN-7030  
US 1983 Editions EG/Obscure LP EGS 303 different cover
UK   Editions EG CD/CS EEGCD/EGMC-23  
EUR/AUS'L   Virgin CD 787 187  
US   Astralwerks CD ASK 66493 digital remaster
JPN   Obscure CD VJCP-68702 digital remaster
UK 2004 EMI CD ENOCD5  
GER 2004 EG CD 866494 digital remaster

 

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