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19 octobre 2008

Fripp & Eno: No Pussyfooting / Evening Star

By John Kelman,, Published: October 19, 2008

“Experimental electronic music would still exist without Fripp & Eno, but without them and these two highly regarded and influential albums, it would be a different beast altogether.”

Few artists think they're doing something momentous, something that can change the landscape of music. Most just follow their instincts, follow their ears, do what they do, and sometimes the result goes far beyond any expectations, personal or otherwise.

When King Crimson co-founder/guitarist Robert Fripp brought his pedal board to Roxy Music keyboardist Brian Eno's home studio on September 8, 1972, hooked himself up to two Revox reel-to-reel tape recorders and, utilizing this primitive, pre-digital approach to looping, recorded two improvised tracks, who was to know how significant they would become? Of course, were it not for Eno's real-time sonic manipulations of what went to tape, there'd never have been a 21-minute "The Heavenly Music Corporation," and the shape of electronic music would, no doubt, be fundamentally altered.

Fortunately, "The Heavenly Music Corporation" did get released, along with a second experiment called "Swastika Girls," as No Pussyfooting (1973), on Island Records' budget-priced Antilles label. Island didn't know what to do with this strange music that ranged from ethereal and, well, heavenly, to more angular and menacing; but No Pussyfooting—a Fripp reference to not compromising what he and Eno felt was right—still went on to sell over 100,000 copies in the UK and Europe.

While it finally reached North American shores (beyond being an expensive British import in the 1970s) in CD form in the 1980s, No Pussyfooting and its follow-up, Evening Star (Antilles, 1975), never sounded the way they deserved. With Fripp & Eno an ongoing collaboration that has become increasingly active again since the release of The Equatorial Stars (DGM Live, 2004) and Beyond Even (DGM Live, 2007), it makes perfect sense that the two albums that not only started it all for Fripp & Eno, but were vastly influential in the realms of electronic and ambient music, finally receive the sonic updating they deserve. Additionally, No Pussyfooting is expanded to a double-disc, with some interesting alternate views of the music that are the result of both happenstance and intention. (...)

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