Some albums demand your attention.
Reflection quietly requests it, drawing you into a fully realised aural world with no physical counterpart.
Brian Eno’s focus here isn’t on world-building, but augmenting reality, crafting a hypnotic, dreamlike soundtrack to an unseen film where the listener is director. The music comprises a single 54-minute track, recalling 1985’s Thursday Afternoon, but in Eno’s 26-album catalogue, it remains an outstanding achievement.
Reflection’s ability to enthral lies in Eno’s mastery of atypical rhythm. The pacing of discovery, of revealing and emphasising elements delicately plucked from the void, is captivating. He makes a voyage into uncertainty, and even as it loops in on itself, the hour-long experience becomes infinite.
This is the kind of record that begs for good quality headphones, quiet environs and the space and time for introspection. Reflection is equally able to render a walk through the cityscape as a serene, even holy experience.
Minimalist and spacious, the gaps in Reflection are its true source of pleasure. Like the album equivalent of the (certainly Eno-inspired) video game No Man’s Sky, its boundless planes offer endless possibilities.
Brian Eno’s Reflection is available now through Warp/Inertia.