Roger Eno And Plumbline Endless City / Concrete Jungle on Limited Edition LP + CD
It had been six years since their last album Transparencies, and despite some nods to their earlier work, the songs on 2013's Endless City / Concrete Jungle are a departure. Field recordings, electronics and Roger Eno's signature plaintive piano remain, but this time around the two have added guitar, strings and even some koto to their distinctive sonic palette. The arrangements are still sparse and minimal, but this broadening out lends an experimental momentum to the material. Deep drones and textures lay the foundation for choppy edits by Plumbline (aka NYC resident Will Thomas), which in turn combine with Roger's melodies to evoke a dark, cinematic quality.
The recording process was again a long distance affair, carried out via file trading. Rarely have the two recorded in the same room, and yet the results sound instinctively congruous. With Will working in New York City/Los Angeles and Roger writing in the East Anglia countryside (also touring to various cities amid the recording process) the title Endless City / Concrete Garden grew from each observing the organic side of the urban jungle. The album has a twist in tail, ending with "Beauté de Passage," the story of a 20th century French poet, told by weaving a recitation over a bed of wandering strings. Atmospheric and beguiling, Endless City / Concrete Garden is a fine sequel to Transparencies that sees the Eno/Thomas partnership continue to flourish and develop.