(All Album Reviews by ffroyd)
Even though I would consider No Pussyfooting to be a groundbreaking masterpiece, I think that I enjoy Fripp and Eno’s second album, Evening Star much more. While this is still somewhat of an exploratory excursion, the pair seem to be more focused this time around. The music here also employs the dual Revox tape delay system which Robert would later call Frippertronics but the pair seems to have more of a handle on the situation as the sounds this arrangement produced seem much more melodious.
The first half of the album contains shorter and more distinct pieces starting out with “Wind On Water” a track that Fripp and Eno recorded live in Paris. The sound is almost like hearing one continuous note with slight fluctuations similar to what the title would convey. The music very gradually eases you into the title track “Evening Star”. I’m not sure if this is how the original album played but I found the transition between the songs to be much more appealing than I remembered. I would say this is the Fripp and Eno piece that I like the most. The initial loop sounds like either guitar harmonics or it could even be a piano. Fripp’s playing seems very inspired here; his solos on top of the repetitive backdrop are simply astonishing. “Evensong” is a shorter track with a cyclic rhythm that is purely hypnotic. The side concludes with “Wind on Wind” an excerpt from Eno’s Discreet Music album that was released around the same time as this.
The second half of the album consists of the one track “An Index Of Metals” (indexed into six separate sections on the CD remaster.) This is similar to the two tracks on No Pussyfooting but I would say it runs quite a lot smoother. There are some nice noisy guitar riffs thrown into ever-evolving rhythm but there doesn’t seem to be as much soloing. This is a track that could almost be classified as pre-industrial drone metal if one were so inclined as to give it a label.
This would be the final album the duo would release until about 30 years later when they got back together for The Equatorial Stars. There was also a compilation of tracks from the first two releases combined with another long track that was called The Essential Fripp and Eno. If you’re interested in checking out the brilliant and pioneering music that these two produced, I would heartily recommend starting with Evening Star, a truly monumental release in the history of ambient music.