Brian Eno on Warp should be a match made in heaven, and indeed
the heavens are where much of ‘Small Craft On A Milk Sea’ lingers,
beginning and ending with sections that evoke the record’s title with poetic ease. Thankfully, Eno’s first lyric-free record for seven years isn’t entirely smothered in celestial lube, and indeed its grubbier corners are its most
Elegantly sequenced into five three-song segments, each with distinct moods, the album is gratifyingly simple to navigate,
making Eno’s diversions – first into tribal techno and then a swaggering kind of broken twostep – pleasingly digestible.
That’s not to say that ‘Small Craft…’ isn’t a full-bodied, intense experience –
it is, but it also has a lightness of touch,
grace, and a substantial kind of beauty that, in its more mudflecked moments, roots it firmly in the real world.
“Last time we spoke it was really early on,”Brian Eno he remembers. (Our previous Gold Panda interview was in July of last year).
“I knew at that time that I wanted to make an album, and that I didn’t just want to put these tracks on it that were out already.
And I had a very clear idea of what I wanted but it did turn out differently, although I think the whole journey from the first idea of an album to the end is quite long.
I don’t think I realised that at the time. “It’s more pop and less weird than what I set out to do. I wanted to make a techno album with these long drawn out tracks that built on that ‘Back Home’
track I did, and were more minimal and repetitive but it didn’t work out like that. I just don’t think that
I’m ready to do that yet, and it would have been a bit weird for people who were into what was coming out. ‘Quitter’s Raga’
went so well and ‘You’ came out and was so different. I think that if I’d done that it would have thrown a lot of people off,
but maybe it would have gotten better reviews in a credible way, but it wouldn’t have been so well received because it’s more accessible now.”
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