"Re-transferring" of early ambient gems

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Brian Eno

When Eno made these albums in the late ’70s, they were revered but regarded as an isolated cultural incident, a distant throwback to the principles of Erik Satie’s “Furniture Music”and remote from the noisy agitation of punk/post-punk. Only with the afterglow of rave and the likes of The Orb were the ideas systematically and near-perfectly executed by Eno finally taken up. We’re now awash with ambient, but there has been little to match the cerebral yet oddly intuitive beauty of these works. Discreet Music’s elegiac yet eternal synth loop, the uneasily amorphous choral tones of Music For Airports (which are anything but soothing for nervous flyers), the nocturnal swathes of The Plateaux Of Mirror (recorded with Harold Budd) and the eerie naturalism of On Land surpass the bland functionalism of most of the New Age/chill-out aural Radox they prefigured: “Dunwich Beach, Autumn 1960” from On Land conveys it all-nostalgia for a time and a place that you never were.