Roger and Brian Eno: Mixing Colours review – an intimate conversation

(Deutsche Grammophon)

The Eno brothers have collaborated before, most recently on 2019’s revamp of the celebrated 1983 Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks documentary score (credited to Brian). Mixing Colours, the Enos’ duo debut, is a double sound-painting made up of natural phenomena (in tracks such as Snow, Desert Sand) and colours (Ultramarine, Burnt Umber) that plays out as an intimate conversation. Fifteen years in the on-off making, its slowly unspooling, generative beauty feels like a balm for these anxious times.

Most of these bejewelled instrumental tracks began with multi-instrumentalist Roger – the younger, less well-known brother, an experimental musician in his own right – on piano. His slow key strikes are bell-like. These compositional sketches would then make their way to Brian, who would work on them on the train, adding resonance.

For all that, electronics are very much to the fore. This feels like an analogue record, each note having a furry aura. The eerie Obsidian takes a familiar church organ and repurposes it creepily. But by and large, the state is meditative, sometimes more austere, often less. Most startlingly, Wintergreen builds gradually to a peak that recalls Brian Eno’s old collaborators, Harmonia – minus the German band’s regular motorik beat, of course.

Watch the video for Celeste by Roger and Brian Eno

Contributor

Kitty Empire

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Brian Eno: Reflection review – soothing, but sobering
The ambient overlord returns with a magnificently peaceful album – which is also released in an edition that endlessly rewrites itself

Kitty Empire

01, Jan, 2017 @9:00 AM

Article image
Tom Rogerson With Brian Eno: Finding Shore review – improvisation in the right key
(Dead Oceans)

Damien Morris

10, Dec, 2017 @8:00 AM

Brian Eno: Lux – review
Brian Eno's latest is a gentle antidote to hyper modern pop, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

11, Nov, 2012 @12:05 AM

Article image
Brian Eno: The Ship review – epic eeriness
(Warp)

Paul Mardles

01, May, 2016 @6:59 AM

Article image
Jon Hopkins: ‘Psychedelic experiences inspired this album’
The musician on film scores, technological developments and the natural highs behind his new album, Singularity

Killian Fox

29, Apr, 2018 @7:00 AM

Jon Hopkins: Immunity – review
Jon Hopkins's fourth solo album has the giddy feel of an epic night out, writes Killian Fox

Killian Fox

01, Jun, 2013 @11:05 PM

High Life review – Eno · Hyde's second album in two months is not just offcuts
Though their world music jams could be wiggier, this new record matches up to Someday World, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

28, Jun, 2014 @11:04 PM

Brian Eno: Small Craft on a Milk Sea – review
Brian Eno's latest finds him in more percussive than ethereal form, writes Hermione Hoby

Hermione Hoby

14, Nov, 2010 @12:05 AM

Article image
Starmus festival: enough brains and Brians to fill the multiverse
Brians Cox, Eno and May joined Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins in Tenerife to celebrate the synergy between astronomy and music

Andrew Anthony

17, Jul, 2016 @7:00 AM

Article image
Tricky: Ununiform review – stark and slinky
(False Idols/!K7)

Kitty Empire

24, Sep, 2017 @6:15 AM