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Listening King’s Lead Hat

David Byrne on Imaginary Cultures

“The idea of making music from an imaginary culture was to give ourselves a set of restrictions and parameters within which to work. Otherwise, we might have just gone on all kinds of creative detours, some of which might have been interesting. But better we confine ourselves to something. Which kind of worked. At least it kept us within bounds for a while, [and] by the time we abandoned that whole idea, which was pretty early on, we already had a direction.” [source]
Fresh off of a tear of high-concept and highly touted public art projects, David Byrne has also been busy finishing up Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, his first collaboration with Brian Eno since 1981’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Where music on its predecessor was dissociative and experimental, incorporating samples from music and sound clips the world over, Eno describes Everything’s sound as “electronic gospel,” which is more evocative of the Talking Heads’ best work—much of which Eno produced. Twenty-seven years later, Byrne and Eno aren’t merely relevant; this is what studio perfection sounds like. —

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