Friday, February 5, 2010

436 Here come the warm jets- a slightly scary delve into a very quirky mind.


Album: Here come the warm jets.

Artist: Brian Eno.

Year: 1974

Genre: Experimental.

Tracks.

  1. Needles in the Camel's Eye
  2. The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch
  3. Baby's on Fire
  4. Cindy Tells Me
  5. Driving Me Backwards
  6. On Some Faraway Beach
  7. Blank Frank
  8. Dead Finks Don't Talk
  9. Some of Them Are Old
  10. Here Come the Warm Jets

I’ve never really given a huge amount of thought to Rock producers before. I think I’ve always seen them as coming from the George Martin school: nice, middle-aged boffins without artistic temperaments who were much more comfortable in the technical part of the studio than out where the instruments were. The sort of people who’s job it was to get the weird ideas in the artist’s drug-addled mind onto tape in a format that actually had some marketing potential. A staid and necessary buffer between the madness in the musician's head and the commercial obsessions of the record company executives.

Before I heard Here Come the Warm Jets I knew Brian Eno as a producer and not a musician. I’d never heard his solo musical output but was very familiar with many of his production credits, especially the albums he produced for U2, which are basically all the good ones. Having now heard the music that Eno produces when he’s in charge and read some interviews with the man I can only conclude that far from acting as a calm temperament in the studio keeping Bono’s wild ideas in check, Eno was most probably a deranged loon who wanted to push U2’s music into strange and spooky areas.

Now that I’ve been introduced to the other facet’s of Eno’s life I might as well address them individually as they relate to this album

Eno as lyricist: Ranges from the esoteric… “Blank Frank is the siren, he's the air-raid, he's the crater. He's on the menu on the table, he's the knife and he's the waiter” …to the macabre… “Baby's on fire/ Better throw her in the water/ Look at her laughing/ Like a heifer to the slaughter” …and back again… “You have to make the choice between/ The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch and me”

Eno as a songwriter: Brian freely admits that he didn’t really write these songs as much as create the circumstance in which they were able to occur. He deliberately collected a group of musicians that he thought wouldn’t get on, in the hope of building tension and a friction filled atmosphere. He then manipulated the results in the mixing process in order to create something even stranger than the sound of musicians disliking each other. Don’t try to dance or sing along, life doesn’t always work that way.

Eno as arranger and producer: There are recognizable instruments on Warm Jets, and then there are disguised instruments, instruments played in ways they weren’t designed to and instruments distorted out of all recognition. And then there’s an added level of tonal weirdness that belongs in another category altogether.

Eno as singer: Nasal, unpleasantly nasal.. One Interview I read described his voice like this: “His singing is not unlike the shriek of a hare that's just caught an air gun pellet up the ass.” That’s a pretty woeful description but then I can’t really do better and I don’t have the resources to propel objects up the anal orifices of rodents in order to make a suitable comparison. It could very well be an amazingly accurate summation. For all I know the reporter in question lined up an entire menagerie and then systematically opened fire up their rectums until one of the poor beasts let forth a shriek that exactly resembled the way Eno sings on Warm Jets. If that’s the case then I take my hat off to the commitment of the music journalist in question.

Eno as a person: Out there. Waaaay out there. For a while he was much more interested in discussing his extensive collection of pornography with journalists than talking about his music. He believes sexually explicit material is an art from which might explain his extensive collection of pornographic playing cards but does little to account for his love of mud-wrestling videos. Eno was also a fan of nuding up during interviews and discussing his own body parts. My personal favourite quote is: “I only make love to keep my feet warm,” which might go some way to explaining why his marriages break up- if someone gave him a toasty warm pair of socks for Christmas the sexual side of the relationship would fall apart completely. While Eno went on record as saying the title of this album was a reference to his guitar playing style he also admits there’s a golden shower connection (google it if you don’t know what a golden shower is but for God’s sake don’t search for images or video.)


Here come the warm Jets isn’t something I could listen to on any sort of regular basis. It’s one of those albums that pushed music in a new direction, I’m just not sure that it pushed it to a place that music wanted to go. Music was perfectly happy where it was before Eno unleashed his warm jets all over it and gave us this album.

Highlight: On some faraway beach. Not bad at all.

Lowlight: Baby’s on fire. Not good at all.

Influenced by: Glam Rock and a desire to work against glam rock.

Influenced: Not many of the artists that Eno went on to work with. He produced albums for INXS who I just can’t picture listening to this.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Qoute: Paw Paw Negro Blow Torch is one of the sexiest songs done, next to Found a Job and Tight Scrummy.

-I’m sorry but anyone who is turned on by Paw Paw negro Blow Torch is someone that I don’t want to have a sexual encounter with.

So would you bask happily under the flow of a warm jet or would you rather wash your hands of the whole thing? Let me know below.

1 comment:

  1. Pornogrophy ? Dont bother giving me any of that stuff. I havnt got a pornograph to play it on !!

    ReplyDelete