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Roger Eno with Kate St John — The Familiar
(Gyroscope CAROL 6601-2, 1992, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2002-04-01

The Familiar Cover art

As precursor to Channel Light Vessel, Roger Eno and enlightened conspirator (ex-Dream Academy) Kate St. John collaborated together on a set of thirteen string-supported pieces. Five songs feature St. John's vocals supported by Eno's plaintive but sympathetic piano. On the opening track, "Our Man in Havana," Eno sets a tone of international intrigue with his electric piano and sampled vibes. The precious melody of "We Stay Still" evokes a childlike theme which standouts on the disc as small achievement in subtlety and execution. The disc was co-produced by guitarist Bill Nelson who also adds wiry feedback leads to several tracks including "Rain Outside an Open Door," which documents a moment of pain by imposing a pensive debt laden wash. "Days of Delay" also is notable with its beautifully developed theme and another Nelson lead moaning over plaintive piano. The whole thing could make you fairly misty-eyed after a few tracks not unlike a sad PBS show about some unreconciled romance novel. Overall the disc is an emotive release that only improves upon replay.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 24, 1992 releases

Related artist(s): Roger Eno, Bill Nelson, Kate St. John


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