equal ways: nooten & brook
Speaking of Clan of Xymox... Pieter Nooten played keyboards for them. When he departed the band after their 2nd full length and final album for 4AD, Medusa, he worked on a much more ambient release with Michael Brook. Check out the demo version of the Xymox song from the same release as yesterday and then the amazing reworking.
The innovative guitarist and producer Michael Brook was born and raised in Toronto. While studying electronic music and the arts at the University of Toronto, he met trumpter Jon Hassell. Through Hassell, Brook also was introduced to minimalist composer LaMonte Young, under whom he studied Indian music. A period working as the house engineer at producer Daniel Lanois' famed Grant Avenue recording studio led to a tenure playing guitar with the Canadian pop band Martha and the Muffins during the late '70s; at the same time, Brook also met Brian Eno, guesting on the 1980 Eno/Hassell collaboration Possible Musics. In 1983, he also played on Harold Budd's Magic Realism.
In 1985 Brook made his solo debut with Hybrid, an influential ethno-ambient work recorded with Eno that discovered the middle ground between Western and Indian musical aesthetics and established his unique, heavily-processed "infinite guitar" sound. (He helped develop and invent this special instrument, which is probably most famously used at the beginning of U2's With or Without You- its the long sustained guitar that never ever breaks.)
He spent much of the remaining decade working with Eno, helping create video sculptures and sound installations across the globe; he also became a sought-after producer, helming records for such diverse talents as Roger Eno, Pieter Nooten, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Balloon, and the Pogues. In 1990, Brook returned to world music, producing Youssou N'Dour's acclaimed Set; more importantly, he began a continuing collaboration with Pakistani qawaali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with the seminal Mustt Mustt, a fusion of Western ambient and pop sounds with the sacred spiritual music of the East. In 1992, Brook returned to the studio to record his first solo effort in seven years, the stellar Cobalt Blue for 4AD; a rare concert performance given at a party celebrating the album's release was subsequently issued as the limited-edition Live at the Aquarium. Brook later wrote the score for the Kevin Spacey-directed crime noir Albino Alligator. Buy some of his stuff.
Pieter Nooten & Michael Brook - Equal Ways
Clan of Xymox - Equal Ways (Demo)