Brian Eno on Warp should be a match made in heaven, and indeed the heavens are where much of ‘Small Craft On A Milk Sea’ lingers, beginning and ending with sections that evoke the record’s title with poetic ease. Thankfully, though, Eno’s first lyric-free record for seven years isn’t entirely smothered in celestial lube, and indeed its grubbier corners are its most remarkable. Elegantly sequenced into five three-song segments, each with distinct moods, the album is gratifyingly simple to navigate, making Eno’s diversions – first into tribal techno and then a swaggering kind of broken two-step – pleasingly digestible. That’s not to say that ‘Small Craft…’ isn’t a full-bodied, intense experience – it is, but it also has a lightness of touch, grace, and a substantial kind of beauty that, in its more mud-flecked moments, roots it firmly in the real world.

By Sam Walton

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