Daniel Lanois, “Iceland” from Flesh and Machine (2014): One Track Mind

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“Iceland” would have a cinematic scope, even without the accompanying videography from Jim McKay. Such is the deeply evocative nature of Daniel Lanois’ work that, when you close your eyes, even more interesting things happen.

That said, “Iceland” — advance music from Lanois’ forthcoming Flesh and Machine, due October 28, 2014 via Red Floor Records — sounds very much like this newly released clip, like something between struggle and a dance. Unutterably beautiful at one turn, dark and humid the next.

Certainly, this recalls the Ambient series work of Lanois long-time U2 co-producing cohort Brian Eno, though with a few crepuscular moments that are uniquely his own. Whereas Eno often created those sounds with nothing more than a keyboard, Lanois processes an array of instruments and voices, both here and through the new album — which was built up from a foundation of ruminative soundscapes.

Listening, it’s hard to imagine this being translatable on stage, but Lanois has live dates alongside Brian Blade (a co-hort from 2010’s Black Dub project) and Jim Wilson continuing into November where he dubs, samples and shifts these sound in real time. An additional highlight is the projection of several films, like McKay’s, that were commissioned specially for Flesh and Machine.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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