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CD Review: Brian Eno 

Small Craft on a Milk Sea (Warp)

Brian Eno has spent most of the past 40 years as an art-rock wizard, ambient torchbearer, and prestigious producer. On Small Craft on a Milk Sea, his first solo record in five years, he teams up with longtime collaborators Jon Hopkins and Leo Abrahams for an album that's more improvisational than his usual studio-as-instrument recordings. The first three tracks, all part of the same movement, serve as foundation to the album, which is inspired by movie soundtracks. The title cut concludes the opening sequence before the second movement sets sail with the rollicking "Flint March" and Abrahams' guitar squelches against sturdy percussion during "2 Forms of Anger"'s rising post-rock. For Small Craft on a Milk Sea's final section, Eno creates a minor shift from the major distress by synthesizing galaxy-bounding, ethereal sounds ("Slow Ice, Old Moon") with the balmy groans of haunted tones ("Calcium Needles"). It's a hellacious electronic storm. Michael Tkach

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