Brian Eno - Small Craft on a Milk Sea (**)
album review for the skinny
Warp’s signing of Brian Eno was a symbolic coup for the label, the spiritual homecoming of a common ancestor to their entire roster’s two-decade output. But Small Craft On A Milk Sea does not indicate a return to the cutting-edge for Eno, who’s been wallowing in abstract ambient sound design for longer than Warp’s lifetime.
When Small Craft summons some energy, as in early tracks Horse and 2 Forms of Anger, racing drums, buzzing insects and squawking mechanical birds form a frightening scene, before the latter track’s guitars explode and enflame for a full minute.
But for the most part, Small Craft drifts aimlessly in featureless ambience. For all that he achieved in his first decade-or-so as a musician and producer – and his legacy of innovation in rock and electronic music is peerless – it’s difficult to detect anything of genius or inspiration in his 2010 output.