Thursday, 4 June 2020

Brian Eno ‎– Nerve Net (1992)

Style: Abstract, Future Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Opal Records, Warner Bros. Records, All SAints

Tracklist:
01.   Fractal Zoom
02.   Wire Shock
03.   What Actually Happened?
04.   Pierre In Mist
05.   My Squelchy Life
06.   Juju Space Jazz
07.   The Roil, The Choke
08.   Ali Click
09.   Distributed Being
10.   Web
11.   Web (Lascaux Mix)
        Appendix
12.   Decentre
13.   Fractal Zoom (Separate Time Edit)
14.   Ali Click (Doo Gap Mix)

Credits:
Composed By – Brian Eno
Producer – Brian Eno, Markus Draws

For the record, Nerve Net was not Brian Eno's first attempt at rock & roll. Not counting his time with Roxy Music, he also made several solo albums in the 1970s that were clearly intended as approaches to pop music -- they were sideways approaches, of course, shaped by the intellectual distance he has always kept between himself and the music that arises from the forces that he puts into motion, and they were far from unqualified successes. But this is his most rocking solo album in years, and also his funkiest. That's not say it's either funky or rock & roll, but it does manage to be lots of fun in a slightly inhuman, claustrophobically funky sort of way. The list of participants includes several of the usual suspects (Robert Fripp, Robert Quine, Roger Eno), as well as a few surprises (Benmont Tench, John Paul Jones) and a raft of unknowns. The sound, which doesn't vary much from track to track, is compressed and dense, with lots of heavily treated and synthesized percussion. On "What Actually Happened," for example, drummer Richard Bailey plays a distinctly organic funk part through what sounds like a battery of effects, while a bassist and guitarist do indistinguishable things and Eno messes around with everything and throws in samples. "Juju Space Jazz" features both Quine and Fripp (the latter credited with "early '50s club guitar") as well as Eno playing such instruments as "African organ" and "tenor fax." Overall, this album is quite fun but nothing to get too awfully excited about.
Rick Anderson / AllMusic

Omar ‎– There's Nothing Like This (1991)

Style: Acid Jazz, Neo Soul
Format: CDVinyl
Label: Talkin' Loud, Kongo Dance

Tracklist:
01.   There's Nothing Like This
02.   Don't Mean A Thing
03.   You And Me
04.   Positive
05.   I'm In Love
06.   Meaning Of Life
07.   Stop Messing Around
08.   Serious Style
09.   I Don't Mind The Waiting
10.   Fine (Acapella)
11.   There's Nothing Like This (Remix)

Credits:
Mastered By – Geoff Pesche
 
Omar's groundbreaking 1990 debut album There's Nothing Like This earned the British singer/songwriter the title of 'the founder of nu-classic soul'. 
Born in London and brought up in Cantebury, Omar was the son of a studio musician and drummer, Byron Lye-Fook and as a result he learnt to play the drums, trumpet and piano at a young age. Although Omar went to the prestigious Guildhall School of Music, at 16 he left to pursue his music career and began releasing music on his father’s Kongo label in 1985. 
The single There's Nothing Like This first appeared five years later in 1990, and the buzz it created led to Omar signing to Talking Loud. The subsequent album was a sublime collection of soul tracks and the single peaked at number 14 in the charts. 
His importance as an artist within soul music cannot be understated, as performers such as Angie Stone, Erykah Badu and Stevie Wonder have all cited his music as being influential to them.
David O'Donnell  / BBC Review