Chances are that you will be far more familiar with Brian Eno and his work than you might realise. Whether you know him as a founding member of the influential 1970s art-rock outfit Roxy Music or for the invention of ambient music, Eno has actually released no less than 25 solo albums and contributed to countless projects and collaborations, but also left his fingerprints on dozens of seminal albums as a producer, composed several film scores not to mention the start-up theme for Microsoft’s Windows 95 – all of which is to say that it is hard to not be in earshot of his musical influence in one way or another.
What’s more, Eno’s activities and ideas have spread beyond music and into visual arts, writing, teaching, political activism and even app design – the diversity of which illustrate that he is a true polymath, driven by a seemingly unbounded energy and a deep curiosity for the world around him.
The Brian Eno of today – a cultural figurehead, famed for his prolific cultural output and maverick intellect – seems a world away from the flamboyantly dressed figure who became a defining part of the onstage aesthetic of Roxy Music in the early ’70s, clad in leopard prints, peacock feathers and exquisitely applied mascara. But Eno’s role as band ‘technician’, mixer and synth wizard not only helped Roxy Music’s newfangled glam rock sound become a solid part of British music history, but anticipated a pivotal function in modern music: that of the producer and sonic engineer.
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