The Shutov Assembly

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The Shutov Assembly
Studio album by Brian Eno
Released 10 November 1992 (US, D)
Re-issue 28 June 2005
Recorded 1985 through 1990
Genre Ambient, Dark ambient
Length 57:04
Label Warner (Opal)
Hannibal (re-issue)
Producer Brian Eno
Brian Eno chronology
Nerve Net
(1992)
The Shutov Assembly
(1992)
Neroli
(1993)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Uncut 3/5 stars[2]
Q Magazine 3/5 stars[3]

The Shutov Assembly is an ambient album by British musician Brian Eno, released on 10 November 1992 on Warner.

Overview[edit]

The album is dedicated to Russian artist Sergei Shutov, and was created as an assembly of tracks for him, as he had mentioned to Eno the difficulty he had of getting Eno's music in the then-communist Russia.

On the rear cover of the CD, the ten tracks of nine letters are arranged in a grid as seen in a word search puzzle. This appears to reflect Eno's known affinity for word games, but there is a purely coincidental reason for why they are so titled. 2

  • Triennale – Milan festival where Eno had an installation in 1985.
  • Alhondiga – Spanish installation in 1988.
  • Markgraph – German exhibition music & light company that helps with installations.
  • Lanzarote – Canary Islands, host to a yearly music festival.
  • Francisco – Installation at the Exploratorium in 1988.
  • Riverside – Riverside Studios in London was the site of a 1986 installation.
  • Innocenti – 1987 Florence installation (In Harmonic Space).
  • Stedelijk – Amsterdam museum with the video installation of Mistaken Memories of Mediaeval Manhattan.
  • Ikebukuro – Tokyo installation in 1989.
  • Cavallino – Venice gallery with 1985 installation

Or, as the album's Rykodisc entry says "The Shutov Assembly is a journey through Eno's sumptuous audio-visual installations from around the world, each track touching down on a particular event and atmosphere" 3.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Triennale" – 4:02
  2. "Alhondiga" – 3:16
  3. "Markgraph" – 3:39
  4. "Lanzarote" – 8:37
  5. "Francisco" – 4:44
  6. "Riverside" – 3:50
  7. "Innocenti" – 4:19
  8. "Stedelijk" – 5:26
  9. "Ikebukuro" – 16:05
  10. "Cavallino" – 3:06

The music[edit]

Talking to Mojo magazine in 1998, Eno explained that The Shutov Assembly tracks "...were originally proposals for orchestral pieces; what I wanted to do was make them, using my normal tricks and devices, and then present them to an orchestra and ask them to try and copy them accurately – so if this sound goes "dnnngeeeee", you might need to have a damped tubular bell and a violin player working together to make that one sound. I thought it would be an interesting way to use an orchestra, to force it to use its instruments in a different way" 4.

Indeed, the Netherlands Metropole Orchestra (Metropole Orkest) played two performances of the music in June 1999 at the Holland Festival, which ran from 5 to 26 June in Amsterdam, the first of which was broadcast live on Dutch radio.

Though the music can certainly be classified amongst his other ambient works, most of the compositions have a certain "dark" feel to them. In an interview, Eno said "it's the association with danger that I didn't use to like, and it's exactly that, what I do like now .... THE SHUTOV ASSEMBLY is sort of the out-of-town version of it, the outside-the-city-limits version of danger" 5.

Credits[edit]

  • Brian Eno : all instruments
  • Recording location : The Wilderness Studio, Woodbridge, UK
  • Mastered By Tony Cousins at the Townhouse, London
  • The cover art is an image from the video painting "Egypt" by Eno & Greg Jakobek.

Versions[edit]

Country Label Cat. No. Media Release Date
US Opal/Warner Bros 9-45010-2 CD 1992
US Rykodisc/All Saints 42/HNCD 1478 CD 2004
US Hannibal 1478 CD 2005

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r72637
  2. ^ Uncut (p. 166) – 3 stars out of 5 – "[I]t's a masterpiece of cold, looming evocations of dusk and deep distance."
  3. ^ Q (12/92, p. 121) – 3 Stars – Good – "... [an] effortlessly beautiful Enopainting..."
  4. ^ Sound On Sound: Brian Eno: Breaking the silence

External links[edit]