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09 février 2008

Lanois’ U2 Warm-up

“I’M doing some writing with (Brian) Eno and U2,” mega-producer Daniel Lanois tells Spinner magazine when asked about his work with Bono and the boys on their new CD. “We’re gonna knock out another record that’s promising to be a fantastically innovative collection of songs. I’m excited about that.”

Lanois is much more than a U2 insider. His fingerprints have been all over the production knobs of some of the greatest CDs by the likes of Peter Gabriel, the Neville Brothers, Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan. He creates that trademark spooky, atmospheric vibe on the discs he touches. It’s that same aura that made U2’s The Joshua Tree unlike anything you ever heard.

Lanois has also made a number of albums on his own, and they’re just as satisfying as some of the ones he shepherded for his famous friends. He just started a record company, Red Floor Records, and has chosen to release his newest disc on the label.

A soundtrack to a homemade documentary film of the same name, Here Is What Is sports a haunting collection of rough hewn tunes. “Joy” is a spooky gospel tune set atop a churchy organ and watery pedal steel guitar riff. It’s a little bit country, a little bit Sunday morning. “On my way home I looked up at the sky/and the stars held up the night/destiny set me free,” he sings, a trio of pleading voices behind him in chorus. “Luna Samba” has a wicked backbeat that bounces the guitar riffs to new heights.

Lanois also revels in his collaboration with Eno, also a former U2 collaborator who appears in Lanois’ film, Here Is What Is. “I play really well with Eno,” Lanois says. “In a manner of minutes we’ve got something happening in the room that’s special — even without talking about it. We just pick up our instruments and we’re there. We just thank our lucky stars that we have that chemistry within us.” There is a snippet of dialogue from the film spoken by Eno. “I hope this film shows how beautiful things grow out of s***,” he says. “Everyone thinks Beethoven has those tunes in his head and they think that they just tumbled out. Things come out of nothing. The most beautiful seed can sometimes grow into a promising forest.”

This disc is a fascinating look into a very different kind of life. Log onto for more information.

February 6, 2008 From the hob

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