Michael Brook

The Canadian-born Brook is not an especially prolific solo artist but when you make albums as good as these, who cares? These two ethno-ambient works from early in his career are his best albums and remain high watermarks in the fusion of world music with ambient electronics.

artist:
Michael Brook

country of origin:
Canada

style(s):
Ethno ambient, world beat, cinematic

decades active:
80's - 00's

essential releases:

  • Hybrid (1985, Editions EG)
  • Cobalt Blue (1992, 4AD)

Reviewed by Mike G

The Canadian-born Brook is not an especially prolific solo artist, but when you make albums as good as these, who cares? These two ethno-ambient works from early in his career are his best albums and remain high watermarks in the fusion of world music with ambient electronics.

Brook's grounding is certainly solid, having in his early years studied Indian music with legendary minimalist composer La Monte Young. In the late 70's he began an association with Daniel Lanois and ambient pioneer Brian Eno, which led directly to the release of his first solo album Hybrid (1985). Featuring significant contributions from both Eno and Lanois, the album displays an intelligence and sensitivity reminiscent of the music of his mentors but with a far deeper ethnic sound. Instruments from South America, Africa and Eurasia feature along with Brook's self-styled "infinite guitar" sound and the marriage of what seem like disparate elements is utterly convincing throughout. Eno and Lanois were also on board for Cobalt Blue (1992) which, if anything, refines the already high standards of its predecessor.

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