Brian Eno and Karl Hyde, two pioneers of electronic music, have teamed up for a new album. Someday World also features contributions from Coldplay's Will Champion and Eno's former Roxy Music bandmate Andy Mackay, and it is now available to stream above.
The album kicks off with the previously-released "Satellites," a funky, horn-driven song that's remarkable for its various sonic climaxes and shifts in atmosphere. Its uptempo pacing and emphasis on strong grooves sets the tone for the rest of Someday World, and though there are some darker and more reserved tracks in the album's second half, we mostly find Eno and Hyde making arty, funky electronic rock. With many congo-led grooves on the album, we're reminded that Eno was the force behind Talking Heads initial foray into afrobeat, and it's only on the quieter moments that his pioneering work as an ambient musician shows through.
In the case of Karl Hyde, the frontman of techno titans Underworld, Someday World finds him toning down the big beats he became known for in the early '90s in favor of more subtle touches. Underworld did also have their more restrained moments (the sublime intro and outro of the 1993 classic "Mmm Skyscraper... I Love You" spring to mind) and incorporated more abstraction into their compositions than many of their peers, and it's these aspects, not the more well-known "Born Slippy .NUXX" sound that Hyde brings to the table here.
One of the most intriguing things about Eno and Hyde's collaboration is the contrast between their voices. Eno's thick baritone (which also recently graced a song by Damon Albarn) is a perfect foil to Hyde's reedy pipes, and the pair do a superb job of sharing vocal duties, sometimes harmonizing but always making it clear who's singing lead in each song. NPR compares Hyde's vocal work on this album to that of Talk Talk's Mark Hollis, and the comparison really holds up, especially in Someday World's spacier second half.
In general, this album takes art rock and minimal electronica and synthesizes them into a beautiful, subtly funky product. It's rather fitting that it's being released on Warp Records, as most of the label's current roster can trace their influences back to one album or another by either Hyde, Eno or at least one of their other musical projects. For the two veterans, Someday World is an exciting new release that cements their respective positions as innovators in the still-expanding field of electronic music.
Brian Eno & Karl Hyde Someday World tracklist:
1. "The Satellites" – 5:33
2. "Daddy's Car" – 4:50
3. "Man Wakes Up" – 4:17
4. "Witness" – 5:06
5. "Strip It Down" – 4:43
6. "Mother of a Dog" – 5:37
7. "Who Rings the Bell" – 5:05
9. "When I Built This World" – 5:44
10. "To Us All" – 3:28