Brian Eno & David Byrne My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts Review


By Daryl Easlea

When My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts was released in February 1981, it was the last in David Byrne and Brian Eno's 'African trilogy'. Its influence remains simply enormous: echoes of this record can be heard throughout modern music, from the obvious sound collages of Public Enemy and DJ Shadow to, even, the clever and dense production references of pop acts such as Girls Aloud.

"The Jezebel Spirit", "Help Me Somebody" and "Regiment" remain the triumvirate of tracks on which this reputation rests, typifying this groundbreaking montage of beats, scratches, itches and glitches. You would still be hard pushed to find a denser, knottier funk with disembodied voices weaving in and out. Given the painstaking process of assemblage involved and the cerebral nature of the subject matter, it remains a very warm and inclusive record, largely due to the fact that cream of avant pop assembled and created a sweetly bubbling musical stew to support all the theory.

My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts is the record that gave the world 'found voices' and signposted the way for producers to become 'curators'. No matter how many subsequent sins have been created in curating found voices for art's sake, this record in its lavish 25th Anniversary finery with seven bonus tracks remains the definitive article.

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