Eno • Hyde – High Life

Stirring the sauce

Do you remember what you did in 2014? I really had to think hard to remember anything specific. One of those in-between years. In my case between the end of my time in Turkey and the years in the last company I ever served as an employee. Not exactly the high life, mostly. But I definitely know that I bought this album. And yes, that does bring back a few memories. That old friend who came in for a freelance job in our town and who needed a place to stay, spent three months with us, pretty good cook fortunately, and I remember that day when I put this album on, and that I was fairly surprised when he asked me what I was playing, his taste in music not necessarily matching mine in too many places, and then I told him, you know, Eno and Hyde, new album, and he was slightly puzzled, he knew who Brian Eno is, but the music clearly didn’t match his understanding of what Eno usually does, and Hyde, he said, rings a bell, but don’t know which one, oh, yes that one, really, the Trainspotting thing, obviously not being able to put these two together as what he heard wasn’t close to that Born Slippy stuff either, so the puzzlement prevailed while he was stirring the sauce on the stove, something with meatballs, and I sort of filled him in on a few things, about how Eno had been involved in producing that U2 album, and then oh yes, that’s what I was thinking of when I heard the guitars on this track, referring to “Return”, the song that made me love this album, the improvisational atmosphere and the carefree attitude that makes me feel so good, the positivity that it brings up in me, this peculiar feeling that I can walk into the future skipping and smiling, that things will be just fine, and that wondrous things will happen, and even if it doesn’t last forever, there is goodness and happiness to be found, the shy little choir the guys and their friends sing during the second half of the song even making my eyes a little watery when I hear it, such a fine moment, a huge and all-encompassing hug turned into music, and my friend kept stirring, it was a good thing he liked to cook it really long, I almost put on “Return” again, but then there is more of this fine music, “Lilac” gets me too even though I first shied away from the way the guys sing on it, the way it was so pronounced and deliberate, theatrical in a way, but then they just keep it going for nine and a half minutes, like people who just keep smiling and being friendly and even if you don’t smile back they just keep their positive aura, their joy, and once you loosen up a little you catch their mood, that’s how this thing keeps turning me around, and these really nice rhythms and the slightly African note, my feet swinging while I sit on the kitchen counter and the guitars keep looping and looping, circling in the air, this can go on and on and it almost does, minute after minute, and you know how it is when a song is able to dissolve your perception of time and then it doesn’t even last half as long as it should, and thank God this doesn’t happen here, they keep it going until you are ready to let them depart with a few more lilacs, and I remember, now that I hear it again, I almost pulled the needle off the record when the loud and bashing “Moulded Life” with its synthetic retro Funk blew all the smiles away, but it was time to throw the pasta in the pot so maybe it came at the right moment, and yes, time to switch to the second vinyl as well, and to a much more enjoyable and slightly more African sounding kind of Funk, “DBF”, loose and nicely twitchy, drums like Tony Allen, even my friend was swaying slightly behind the kitchen block, and he’s not the swaying kind, the song like a really cool and slightly out of control live session after a long night of recording, with all the good vibes of having done a really good job and having had a really good time, and yes, I had read that the album had been recorded in just a few days, and that there was that other album the guys had recorded just a few months earlier, and how that had been nothing like this, nothing as good as even just the vinyl bonus track on this album, “Slow Down Sit Down And Breathe”, still nothing compared to the relaxed swing of “Time To Waste It”, even lightyears away from “Cells & Bells” with its delicate electronics, its beautifully layered vocals, a kind of ode or prayer, a little dark, a little melancholic, not without hope, simplicity exists they say, and the album proves that sometimes it’s simple, when two guys invite some friends to the studio, bring a few ideas and let them roll out, press record and let it happen, and don’t stop playing before it’s time, don’t stop stirring the sauce before it’s time, the only thing I keep thinking is that we somehow find it hard to just enjoy this and be happy that it’s there, that these two guys haven’t tried to extend or recreate it, just being grateful can be hard, but the good thing is that we can listen to this over and over again and it will do what it does, give you a smile, let you enjoy the fact that you are there and that the high life is the simple life, the joy of being there. Alive.

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