As a big fan of ambient music for many years, I wondered how I could forget giving some attention to Brian Eno, one of the godfathers of ambient electronic music. In the years preceding “On Land” the idea of making music that in some way related to a sense of place -landscape, environment- had occurred to Eno many times already. Moreover, his conscious exploration of his way of thinking about music probably began with Brian’s 1975-album “Another Green World”. It was on the latter he became aware of setting each place within its own particular landscape and allowing the mood of the landscape to determine the kinds of activity that could occur.
For “On Land”, recorded between September 1978 and January 1982, Eno invited musicians Bill Laswell (bass on track one), Jon Hassell (trumpet on track four) and Michael Brook (e-guitar on track eight) to contribute to his pastoral, but extraordinary environmental music. The outcome of “On land”, the last chapter in Eno’s legendary ambient series, is an impressive landscape-painting featuring various dreamy, and above all highly imaginative sonic images, all literally visualizing certain nature surroundings through sound.
There’s an overall dark, mysterious and -to a certain extent- even a rather disturbing veil lying over the eight slowly evolving soundscapes (which all reference to geographical places), accompanied by the sounds of insects and frogs, which all possess this deep organic quality nicely vibrating through the sonic undercurrents and drones.
All in all, “On Land” is a monumental ambient work until this very day, remaining influential to lots of other music composers in the genre.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Brian Eno artist page
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