I thought I knew all of Eno’s 1970s albums, but even after reading his doorstep-sized biography over the summer I was surprised to hear of the 1976 Tracks and Traces by Eno with Harmonia (Michael Rother, Roedelius and Moebius). Tracks & Traces finally surfaced as a retail CD in 1997 and was predictably sold-out soon after. It was re-released a month ago (33⅓ years after being recorded, one Eno-nerd has calculated), with three previously unheard tracks. In texture it seems somewhere between Music for Films, and the sparser instrumentals of Another Green World and Before and After Science. Eno sings only once — on “Don’t get lost on Luneburg Heath” — and sadly it’s only a dirge-like chant. Most of the tracks are strangely beguiling — especially the opening minutes of the 15-minute “Sometime in Autumn” which sounds like they decided to riff on the classic Doctor Who theme in a rainforest, after which the track rolls languidly out into a drifting ambient soundscape complete with occasional ‘rotor-blade’ effects prescient of the music for Apocalypse Now (1979).

eno-harmonia-1976