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Automatic - Channel Light Vessel

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    A short-lived collaboration between keyboardist Roger Eno, guitarist Bill Nelson, and oboist/saxophonist Kate St. John, Channel Light Vessel is more than a new age supergroup. Perhaps it's the influence of St. John (a key member of the underrated Dream Academy), but this is the most pop-oriented album Nelson's been involved with since his early-'80s run of pre-ambient solo records. Some tracks have vocals by Nelson and/or St. John (the opening duet, "Testify," is downright catchy), but even the instrumentals have recognizable melodies and easy-to-grasp structures. Eno's contributions are about evenly split between piano and synthesizers, and his playing is typically excellent; though often overshadowed by his more famous and innovative older brother Brian, Roger is a notable talent in his own right. His jazzy fills in the chattering "Ballyboots" elevate what might have otherwise been an aimless rhythmic exercise into something far more interesting. It's nice to hear Nelson singing again, and his gruff voice fits perfectly with St. John's angelic harmonies. Overall, the placid but not static feeling of Automatic is very much like David Sylvian's post-Japan work, and an excellent addition to all three artists' respective discographies.
    Track Listings:
    1. Testify 3:08
    2. Train Travelling North 4:18
    3. Dog Day Afternoon 3:00
    4. Ballyboots 3:51
    5. A Place We Pray For 4:26
    6. Bubbling Blue 3:41
    7. Duende 1:11
    8. Flaming Creatures 3:50
    9. Bill's Last Waltz 4:13
    10. Thunderous Accordions 2:25
    11. Fish Owl Moon 3:05
    12. Little Luminaries 3:37
    Artist Name(s):
    Bill Nelson Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Percussion, E-bow, Piano [Soft], Keyboards, Vocals, Mix
    Mayumi Tachibana - Cello, Voice [Ghost Girl]
    Roger Eno - Piano, Keyboards, Horn, Accordion, Banjo, Guitar [Trundle]
    Kate St. John - Vocals, Saxophone, Cor Anglais, Oboe
    Laraaji - Zither [Zithers], Bells, Kalimba, Chimes, Voice [Alien Whispers]
    Channel Light Vessel
    Release Year: 1994
    Ambient, Jazz, Synth-Pop
    Album Type:
    Compact Disc
    Cover & Packge Design:
    David Coppenhall
    Studio Name:
    Real World Studios, Wiltshire and Fairview Studios, Yorkshire
    Mastering: Chop 'em Out, London
    Engineer(s): John Spence, Marcus Dravs
    Label / Publishing
    Label Name:
    Catalog Number(s):
    GYR 6607-2
    Caroline Records
    Caroline Records
    Editions / Reissues
    1. 1994 - CD - Gyroscope - GYR 6607-2 - USA
    2. 1994 - CD - All Saints - ASCD19 - UK
    3. 2005 - CD - Hannibal Records - HNCD 1501 - USA
    Album Locator
    [+] Amazon
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    [+] Discogs
    [+] Google
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    [+] Reverb.com

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