Magazine article New Internationalist

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

Magazine article New Internationalist

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

Article excerpt

Music

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

by Brian Eno and David Byrne (Virgin/EMI BEDBX 1 CD)

The first appearance of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts in 1981 was a watershed in Western pop music. It wasn't even a matter of the album's composition: Brian Eno was a non-musician whose work had always placed the studio's potential - including tape loops and found sounds - at the heart of operations. David Byrne was the Talking Heads singer who was turning towards expanded funkadelic sounds. Combine the two visions, and you have a Bush of Ghosts that reverberates with looped-up rhythms and joyous funk basslines.

The title comes from AmosTutuola's 1952 novel that tells of a Nigerian boy's encounters with a parallel world of spirits. For Eno and Byrne, the sounds of other cultures - from North African melismatic songs to exorcisms - form the parallel world. They are heard, not by white men operating as tourists, but by two artists trying to understand something about the infinite reflections of otherness in the world. …

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