A modern minimalist watershed – and maybe one of the first indications that Brian Eno was moving onto higher ideas in his music
! The album's an important release on the Obscure series from Island Records – a special imprint that was curated by Eno, as a way of giving showcase to new ideas in British music
that were neither free jazz, punk, prog, or any of the styles that were getting more play on the bigger labels! Instead, Eno and Obscure was to the British avant composition world what Lovely or CRI were to the US – although maybe had the bigger role of some of the Columbia Records releases by Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley. The album features the beautiful title piece – "Discreet Music
", a long work that relies on a simple system of delay and recall, with slight variations occurring over the space of time, due to slight occasional interference from the composer. Side two features "Three Variations On The Cannon In D Major By Johann Pachelbel" – a great reworking of the baroque music
classic – which works along similar lines, taking this very familiar classical theme, and breaking it down into simple components, which are then interwoven and played in repetition, creating a strange little bit of romantic minimalism. That second piece is performed by the Cockpit Ensemble, conducted by Gavin Bryars – who also got some great early releases on the Obscure label too!