Knock me over with a feather. I’ve just gotten word that Brian Eno and Karl Hyde of Freur/Underworld have collaborated on a new album, currently ready for pre-order. On a subconscious level, this is something that I had subliminally expected for 31 years, and yet when it popped into my world this morning, the thought of it still made me giddy. Hyde always made me feel as if he would not exist without the foundations laid by Eno a decade earlier. Eventually, Eno and Hyde collaborated earlier in bits and pieces. Most dramatically on the Pure Scenius concert that capped the Luminous Festival in Sydney in 2009 [where he projected his 77 Million Paintings installation on the Sydney Opera House most memorably] that saw Eno playing live on stage with a cadre of other musicians [including Hyde] as they improvised for six hours.
But this is a full on album ready to buy and almost ready to take home. The US release in on May 6, 2014 and Warp Records is issuing it in a variety of formats, all sorted and priced to bring joy to any home at any level of buy-in. It’s available on MP3, hi-res WAV, CD, 2xCD, and 2xLP at a selection of price points that are sensible and modest at every point on the curve. Knowing how I roll, the 2xCD will be my point of entry. What’s on it?
Eno – Hyde: Someday World UK 2xCD 
- The Satellites
- Daddy’s Car
- A Man Wakes Up
- Strip It Down
- Mother Of A Dog
- Who Rings The Bell
- When I Built This World
- To Us All
- Big Band Song
- Brazil 3
- Titian Bekh
The assemblage of contributors will see former Eno comrades Neil Catchpole, John Reynolds, and [gasp] Andy MacKay join in with a host of others who are unknowns to me. Word has it that the songs were begun by Eno as inconclusive experiments who later came to have Karl Hyde arrive on the scene as a catalyst. From there, other musicians were invited to contribute and the album coalesced in that fashion. Fans of Eno’s vocal work will be pleased to know that he’s singing on this one, with Hyde also contributing vocals. What does it sound like? They’ve put “The Satellites” out there for our perusal.
I like the juxtaposition of the gentle guitars and shrill, heraldic synth horns, which bring Eno’s similar work on John Cale’s “Helen Of Troy” to mind. But the vibe here is not at all threatening as Cale was striving for. Eno’s vocals are calm and placid even as the elements of the song build up and layer as in a Philip Glass vibe. Fans of “Wrong Way Up” will have a lot to be thankful for here, I’m sure.
My wallet is also thankful that the most costly format available [vinyl] tops out around $25. A fair price for double vinyl. I’m also pleased that the MP3 and WAV formats are [shock – horror] priced about 30% less than the physical formats. Let’s hear it for sensible pricing paradigms! I’ve grown tired of seeing DLs priced for more than physical product. It’s irrational! I get paid tomorrow and will factor this into the budget since my wife let me know about the album this morning and bade me “Preorder now!!!!!” Yes ma’am! Investigate the pre-purchase options yourself at the Eno • Hyde website.
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