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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Fripp & Eno
The Equatorial Stars
Discipline Global Mobile

Rating: 8/10 ?


June 13, 2005
In their first such titled pairing in 30 years, Brian Eno and Robert Fripp show the New Jack ambients what time it is. Don't let the fact that Fripp has been touring with Steve Vai and Joe Satriani figure here; The Equatorial Stars is a tidy record to be certain. Opening track "Meissa" could be a Dirty Three cover, with Fripp's guitar creaking like a listing boat moored in slightly choppy waters and Eno's treatments drifting towards shore. An unsettling hue sifts through, suggesting all is not sweetness and light - it is light, perhaps, but only in that the night stars are often burned out by the time we see them. In this case, newcomers can enjoy Fripp and Eno as much as the devoted but without the subtext of their enormous individual back catalogs.

"Lyra", continues with a stargazing lilt that conjoins with the title and cover art, connecting the shiny dots of the night sky. "Tarazed," one of the relatively few stars without an Arabic name - Persian really - is gently somber, as Fripp's non chord-based yet melodic playing layered with Frippertronics melds well with lightly measured dissonance from Eno. "Lupus" crackles with miss-fed satellite noise; sine-wave keyboards approach a Doppler Effect, drifting their way through the speakers and fade out of conscious hearing. "Ankaa" is endearingly familiar within Fripp's works, but again Eno's deliberately cloudy atmospherics add an uneasy texture.

Unfortunately, the first track with beats, "Altair", (named for the 11th brightest star in the sky) is mired by an odd form of guitar playing; it features a nearly Midwestern cover band working its way through funk licks. It's too bad, really, as the whooshing and swirling of the rest of the song holds interest, but the predominant choice is so awkward. "Terebellum," playfully named for the backside of Sagittarius (or a horse's ass to be sure), sets all well again, allowing that maybe Altair was an inside joke of sorts. Drones and peals mass as the night sky darkens; you will immediately be reminded of Biosphere, but also a relationship that began with No Pussyfooting in the early 1970s. The Equatorial Stars renews a partnership of a more than historical value.

Reviewed by Barry Prickett
Failed musician, scurrilous writer and enjoyer of all things that go glitch in the night, Barry Prickett is almost obsessed with his music obsession.

See other reviews by Barry Prickett

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